Height, weight, age and sex can all impact what an individual’s ‘normal’ body temperature should be, latest research has identified.
A new study has found that some people with a fever might not feel unwell due to their body regulating at a higher temperature.
Researchers from Stanford University have now developed a calculator to help people work out their ‘normal’ body temperature based on their height, weight, age and sex.
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During the study, the team of scientists analysed the oral temperatures of 600,000 people from 2008 to 2017.
Health officials say that 37C is a normal temperature, however this study shows that the average normal temperature of adults is 36.6C.
Males typically have a lower body temperature than females, the research findings have reported.
In addition, the results show that older people and taller individuals have a lower temperature, while overweight and obese people are likely to have a higher temperature.
According to the study, people tend to feel cooler early in the morning and warmest at around 4pm.
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Body temperature is also impacted by other factors, including thermometer errors, clothing, weather, physical activity and having a hot or cold drink, the research has reported.
Women are also more likely to have a higher body temperature when they ovulate compared to when they are not menstruating, according to the results.
Chief author Dr Julie Parsonnet said: “Most people, including many doctors, still think that everyone’s normal temperature is 98.6F. In fact, what’s normal depends on the person and the situation, and it’s rarely as high as 98.6F.”
Fellow researcher Catherine Ley said: “Instead of thinking about a distribution in temperatures, which is what the initial study showed, we’ve taken a mean of 98.6F and used it as a cut-off value. We’ve used an average value to create a false dichotomy of what’s normal and what’s not.”
Read the full study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.