The average human body temperature is 37 degrees Celsius, or 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit… right? Well, new studies have uncovered that the average human body temperature is actually lower than that…and it’s dropping.
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In 1851 a German doctor named Carl Wunderlich conducted a yearslong study. He went room to room in his hospital with a thermometer, taking the temperatures of some 25,000 different patients to try and pin down the average human body temperature. And he did, seventeen years later, when he published a paper with that well-known metric of 37 degrees! He also gave us the first quantitative measurement for determining if someone has a fever. 38 degrees and above. And then for the next 140 years, we just accepted this number as correct.
Despite the fact that Dr. Wunderlich collected this data using a comically large, foot-long thermometer that had to be held in a patient’s armpit for 20 minutes. Because believe it or not, portable thermometers small enough fit under your tongue weren’t invented until 1866.
So it wasn’t until the 1990s that another doctor decided to revisit this question using more modern equipment. And he found that yeah, the average human body temperature is ACTUALLY around 36.8 degrees Celsius.
#bodytemperature #temperature #science #seeker #elements
The 98.6℉ Myth: Why Everything You Think You Know About Body Temperature Is a Lie
"The average body temperature isn’t actually 98.6℉—a fact that we’ve known for more than 25 years. The myth originated in the 19th century with a single doctor, and despite evidence to the contrary, it’s persisted ever since."
Are Human Body Temperatures Cooling Down? https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-human-body-temperatures-cooling-down/
"…in the process of altering our surroundings, we have also altered ourselves, says senior author Julie Parsonnet of Stanford. ‘We’ve changed in height, weight—and we’re colder,” she says. “I don’t really know what [the new measurements] mean in terms of health, but they’re telling us something.’"
7 Ways To Tell You Have A Fever If You Don’t Have A Thermometer
"Here are seven ways to tell if you have a fever, even if there’s no thermometer in sight."
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