Sweating depends on body size, weight and not on gender, meaning that larger individuals sweat more than smaller ones during exercises in warm and tolerable conditions, a study has found, negating the conventional belief that gender influences sweat.
The body cools itself down in two main ways: Sweating and increasing circulation to the skin’s surface. Body shape and size dictates which of these two is relied upon for heat loss, the researchers said.
“Gender has long been thought to influence sweating and skin blood flow during heat stress. We found that these heat loss responses are, in fact, gender independent during exercise in conditions where the body can successfully regulate its temperature,” said lead author Sean Notley from the University of Wollongong in Australia.
The study found that smaller males and females with more surface area per kg of body mass are more dependent on heat loss through increasing circulation and less dependent upon sweating.
For the study, published in the journal Experimental Physiology, the team looked at skin blood flow and sweating responses in 36 men and 24 women.
They performed two trials — one of light exercise and the other of moderate — at 28 degrees Celsius and 36 per cent humidity.
These are conditions where the body is able to mitigate the additional heat produced during exercise and prevent further rises in body temperature by increasing sweating and blood flow to the skin.
The results showed that the body temperature changes were same in all participants within each trial regardless of the gender.