Are Malaysian Offices Too Cold? Why This Could Pose a Health Problem

TAs the world gets hotter each year, people adapt to weather changes by making their indoor places cooler. Malaysia has been one of those countries that are continuously improving their ventilation and air conditioning system through the years. However, exposure to an excessively cold workplace for a long time might impose certain health risks that are sometimes neglected. This condition is what you call cold stress.

What is Cold Stress?

Stress is not only due to a particular time, person, or situation, but also due to temperature. Anyone exposed to excessively cold environments, particularly in workplaces, is at risk of having cold stress. When the temperature drops, your body’s heat goes down simultaneously. And, below normal body heat can cause certain illnesses. Here are the some of the conditions that cold stress may cause:1

  1. Hypothermia

Exposure to cold temperature will cause your body to abnormally lose heat more than it could generate. Age, body type, and sex are some of the factors that affect the production of body heat. Low body temperature inhibits the person to think clearly or move freely. Shivering, confusion and loss of coordination are the early signs of hypothermia. So if you are starting to experience these symptoms, that might be a signal for you to go outside and have a little dose of heat.2

  1. Frostbite

Sometimes, frostbites are associated with an injury in places with snow. Unfortunately, frostbites can happen even in the convenience of your homes and workplaces. Caused mainly by freezing, frostbite is a loss of color and sensation on the affected areas. Nose, cheeks, chin, ears, toes, and fingers are the common frostbite affected areas. Reduced blood flow to body parts, tingling, numbness, and bluish discoloration are the signs and symptoms of frostbite. It’s not all the time you will never be bothered by the cold.3

  1. Frostnip

Commonly affects the skin and fingertips, like frostbites, frostnips can cause bluish discoloration and numbness but in a mild severity. The color and sensation will return to normal once exposed to heat.

Having a cool environment is good, but too much of it can cause adverse health effects. Therefore, it is important to assure that the ventilation and air conditioning system at a workplace is properly set at the right temperature.

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