Head not big heat loser after all

Jan. 15, 2013 at 6:35 PM

MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- A University of Michigan professor says it's a myth that people lose most of their body heat through their uncovered heads in the winter.

Andrew Maynard, a professor of environmental health sciences and director of the university's Risk Science Center, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune he has even told his own children that was the reason they needed to wear a hat when out in the cold.

"But when you look into the science, it doesn't make sense," he said. "Does wearing a hat keep you warm while dancing naked?"

In a 2 1/2-minute video featuring a naked stick figure drawn with a stocking cap, Maynard explains how a 1957 British experiment mistakenly led people to believe people lose at least half their body heat via their head.

Maynard corrects that wrongheaded notion by noting it's not which body part that is exposed but how much of the body is exposed.

"And what that means is that you can't dance around naked and expect to stay relatively warm by wearing only a hat," he concludes.

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