Regional microclimate humidity of clothing during light work as a result of the interaction between local sweat production and ventilation

Purpose – The aim of this study is to explore the influence of the clothing ventilation in three body regions on the humidity of the local clothing microclimates under five work-shirts immediately after the onset of sweating in light exercise. Design/methodology/approach – The clothing microclimate ventilations were measured at chest, back and upper arm using a manikin. Separate wear trials were performed to determine the sweat production and the humidity of the clothing microclimate at the same locations as where the ventilation was measured during light exercise. Findings – Every shirt shows the greatest value of ventilation index (VI) for the chest and the smallest one for the upper arm. The values of VI differ remarkably at the chest among the five shirts. Comfort sensation became gradually worse as the time passed after starting exercise. There was no significant difference among the clothing conditions in mean values of rectal temperature, local skin temperatures, microclimate temperatures, microclimate relative humidities and local sweat rates at three regions over 10?min after the onset of sweating. A relationship was observed between the ratio of the mean moisture concentration in the clothing microclimate to the mean sweat rate at the chest and the back and the VI. Originality/value – The results suggest that clothing ventilation should be measured in different body regions in response to sweat rates in corresponding regions.