Although many of you don’t even want to think about this topic as we kick off summer, there have been some interesting developments on the issue of dealing with the cold.
People in the northern states and Canada know what I’m talking about — when winter settles in and the temperature plummets, some of us have a hard time adjusting, while others are ready to go play in the snow right away. Why is this? A new study has taken an interesting approach to this issue.
Recent research presented at the International Congress on Circumpolar Health in Russia shows that a person’s personality is a huge factor in whether or not he/she can handle cold weather.
According to the lead researcher, Hannu Rintamaki, people who are unreserved and outgoing — extroverts — seem to adapt better when the weather becomes cooler. This is not just an emotional reaction. Their heart rates go up quicker and their bodies are able to get the internal furnace going at a faster rate. These reactions are important in a cold- weather environment.
A Canadian researcher, Michel Ducharme, who has performed studies on the topic of temperature and personality, concurs with this finding. He says that non- extroverts with a leaning toward sensitivity, anxiety, and self-criticism are more at risk for hypothermia. Hypothermia is a state of extremely low body temperature that can be very dangerous.
These types of findings are important, especially when it comes to people who must work outside during the winter. Employers need to be more aware of the dynamics of cold and personality, and should make adjustments based on this.
If you live in a location where the weather can get really nippy, the key is to go outside more often to help yourself adjust more quickly, especially if you’re not an extrovert. And don’t forget to dress warmly, in layers, to stave off hypothermia.
It might seem almost refreshing to think about wintertime on these hot and steamy summer days, but you shouldn’t forget that extreme cold could be dangerous! That’s why this research is worthy of note — the more knowledge we have, the better off we are. Now, go and enjoy the summer weather!