Recently I wrote about wearing the proper clothing or base layer as an important part of staying comfortable in the workplace and avoiding feeling like a sticky, hot mess. No matter how you look at it, no one wants to feel that way.
What I didn’t touch on was heat stroke, an even more important topic that can have deadly consequences.
Hot, humid weather mixed in with physical exertion is extremely stressful on our bodies. We sweat to regulate our body temperature – but if we overexert ourselves in the heat, our bodies build more heat than they can lose. The World Health Organization recommends that your body’s temperature should remain below 38 degrees Celsius, which is only one degree higher than normal.
What are the signs of heat stroke? You’ll start feeling exhausted. Dizziness, mental confusion, headaches, and general weakness will set in next. If your core body temperature isn’t cooled down, then unconsciousness, organ failure, and even death will result.
Instead of boring everyone, click here if you want more information on body temperatures and setting up a monitoring program.
So what can be done? Hydration is an often overlooked piece (recent blog post). Proper clothing goes a long way. There are many lightweight fabrics now that are available like in Hi-Viz that will help. Cooling towels, headbands, or vest are great pieces of tech that can provide up to four hours of cooling.
Monitoring weather conditions (temperature, wind, and humidity) can also give us insight into when it might be too hot. And no, I don’t mean the weather app on your phone! Use a WBGT (Wet Bulb Globe Temperature) monitor and the associated index to provide you with work/rest guidelines. Click here to learn more about setting up a heat stress program.
And as always, if you’ve got any burning hot questions, don’t hesitate to let me know.