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Health

Scientists discover workers without air conditioning are slower، temperatures affect brain’s work

Tuesday 10/July/2018 - 11:08 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Ahmed Moamar
Office workers trapped in stifling buildings during the heatwave may be finding work a struggle.

That is not because they would rather be on the beach، but because the heat makes it harder for the brain to work، as t he Daily Mail said.

A study has found soaring indoor temperatures actually affect people's memory and force them to think more slowly.

When people in old buildings without air conditioning were given simple sums، they scored 11 per cent lower in the heat، performing 13 per cent more slowly in a separate test of thinking skills and reaction times.
The results were seen at average temperatures of 26°C (79°F)، with dehydration، lack of sleep in the heat and noise from open windows and fans judged to be part of the problem.

Researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School say heatwaves can affect people’s ability to think similarly to cold temperatures.

Lead author Dr Jose Guillermo Cedeno-Laurent said: 'This study shows that high temperatures do not only affect the elderly، but also have effects on younger، healthier people by reducing their cognitive function.
The authors suggest this is because the parts of the brain which deal with higher-level thinking are diverted to react to the rise in skin temperature.

Theirs is the first study to focus on how indoor، rather than outdoor temperatures، affect cognitive function.

For those trapped in offices while Britain's hot weather continues، the study suggests that caffeinated drinks and regular hydration might help.

The study، published in the journal PLOS Medicine، states: 'Future studies are needed to understand the duration of these effects to determine how the implications could extend to larger sectors of the population and could have significant impacts on educational attainment، economic productivity، and workplace safety.'

The students in the study were living in student housing with or without air conditioning.

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