1. Heat loss from three men and three women was measured in a direct calorimeter over 2 or 3 h periods and compared with that determined simultaneously from heat-flow meters attached to the skin surface at the waist. The comparisons were made at each of four ambient temperatures, 15, 20, 25 and 30°. Each subject wore a cotton boiler-suit and minimal underwear.
2. Oral temperatures and skin and clothing temperatures on both trunk and forearm were determined, thus enabling the subjects' internal and external insulation to be calculated.
3. Heat loss determined by the meters was lower than that determined by the calorimeter. The difference increased with increase in ambient temperature. ‘Meter’ heat loss decreased linearly as ambient temperature was raised.
4. It was concluded that heat-flow meters could provide a useful estimate of total heat loss when the evaporative component is low. The estimate might be improved if the subject is calibrated while wearing the meters in a calorimeter over several short periods. Heat-flow meters could therefore be of particular value in sedentary individuals, when the heart-rate method for estimating energy expenditure can be inappropriate.
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