Air Conditioning is the bane and blessing of ‘modern life’.
We bask in the relief it provides from extreme and dramatic changes in temperature.
At the same time, our bodies suffer the effects of the ‘manipulated air’ that surrounds us at work, in transit and, likely, at home as well.
Consider these aspects of air conditioning and their influence on your voice:
What is the ideal temperature?
Too hot, too cold, just right… In summer the recommended temperature range is 17 – 19 degrees centigrade and in winter, 22 – 25 degrees centigrade. A number of suppliers quote these as ‘ambient’ and ‘energy efficient’ temperatures. These figures are far more flexible than the previously, often-quoted 20-22 degrees centigrade range.
What to look out for?
Regular servicing of the equipment used for airconditioning is essential. When the equipment is cleaned infrequently or not at all, germs and other ‘nasties’ circulate and cause a range of on-going illnesses. Take responsibility for this as a business owner and manager in your area. Think of the fall-out in relation to cycles of staff illness and absences from work, due to a constant supply of reduced air quality and the germs, fatigue and malaise associated with it.
Know how your body responds to air conditioning
- Do you endure fluctuations in body temperature? Have on hand some flexible wardrobe options – light clothing that you can put on and take off as your body temperature changes
- Do you feel tired during your day? Get out into the fresh air during your day and at the end of the day to mitigate the effects of ‘artificial air’
- Do you experience a parched mouth and throat, a croaky voice and/or bouts of coughing? Drink water and plenty of it, to overcome the dryness in your throat that results from air conditioning (both heating and cooling)
- Look out for dry and blotchy patches on your skin. These could indicate overall dryness throughout your body
- If you notice the regular occurrence of fatigue and lack of energy, boost your immune system with fresh, raw vegetables and, again, lots of water
Over several years, travels in Scandinavia and Europe have shown us how to cope in blistering heat, particularly when it is not expected. Yes, global temperatures are rising steadily.
Here are some tips:
- Stay in hotels where windows can be opened!
- Pack a hat and use it each day and in transit from place to place
- Apply sunscreen and moisturizer every day – no exceptions
- Drink water as your first preference when touring and exploring
- Take a bottle of water with you wherever you go
- Reduce and limit the amount of alcohol you drink