Human total, basal and activity energy expenditures are independent of ambient environmental temperature

Xueying Zhang, Yosuke Yamada, Hiroyuki Sagayama, Philip N Ainslie, Ellen E Blaak, Maciej S Buchowski, Graeme L Close, Jamie A Cooper, Sai Krupa Das, Lara R Dugas, Michael Gurven, Asmaa El Hamdouchi, Sumei Hu, Noorjehan Joonas, Peter Katzmarzyk, William E Kraus, Robert F Kushner, William R Leonard, Corby K Martin, Erwin P MeijerMarian L Neuhouser, Robert M Ojiambo, Yannis P Pitsiladis, Guy Plasqui, Ross L Prentice, Susan B Racette, Eric Ravussin, Leanne M Redman, Rebecca M Reynolds, Susan B Roberts, Luis B Sardinha, Analiza M Silva, Eric Stice, Samuel S Urlacher, Edgar A Van Mil, Brian M Wood, Alexia J Murphy-Alford, Cornelia Loechl, Amy H Luke, Jennifer Rood, Dale A Schoeller, Klaas R Westerterp, William W Wong, Herman Pontzer, John R Speakman, IAEA DLW Database Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Lower ambient temperature (T a) requires greater energy expenditure to sustain body temperature. However, effects of T a on human energetics may be buffered by environmental modification and behavioral compensation. We used the IAEA DLW database for adults in the USA (n = 3213) to determine the effect of T a (-10 to +30°C) on TEE, basal (BEE) and activity energy expenditure (AEE) and physical activity level (PAL). There were no significant relationships (p > 0.05) between maximum, minimum and average T a and TEE, BEE, AEE and PAL. After adjustment for fat-free mass, fat mass and age, statistically significant (p < 0.01) relationships between TEE, BEE and T a emerged in females but the effect sizes were not biologically meaningful. Temperatures inside buildings are regulated at 18-25°C independent of latitude. Hence, adults in the US modify their environments to keep TEE constant across a wide range of external ambient temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104682
Number of pages14
Issue number8
Early online date16 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2022


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