temperature, body weight, metabolism, metabolism and temperature,

Set Your Thermostat to 68 Degrees

It may encourage your body to form good fat.

Every athlete knows that education is a crucial part of performance. Sport and exercise research, insight from top trainers, science, and technology help you to better understand your body so you can craft a healthier lifestyle, workouts, and recovery plan.

In our daily news series, experts address some of the latest fitness research, nutrition, style, and health stories.


THE SCIENCE
New research published in Scientific Reports shows that a modest drop in temperature can promote the formation of brown adipose tissue, the so-called good type of fat that regulates blood sugar and warms the body by burning calories, sugar, and fat.

EXPERT INSIGHT
The in vitro study indicates that colder temps change the characteristics and metabolism of the stem cells in your body, encouraging them to create efficient fat that works in your favor, says lead study author Virginie Sottile, an associate professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham in England. 

Past research shows that turning your thermostat up and down throughout the day increases your metabolism, and that cold environments encourage calorie burn because your body has to use more energy to stay warm. But this study shows for the first time that dropping the temp can encourage your body to form good fat rather than the bad type that leads to weight gain over time.

More research needs to be done to confirm this in vivo. Two other ongoing projects led by Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt, a professor of ecological energetics and health at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, are exploring the effects of cold temperatures in offices.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Sottile’s work suggests that setting your thermostat between 66 and 68 degrees encourages your body to create good fat. Both experts agree it’s one strategy for creating a healthy environment and maintaining your weight.