Swimming is a popular activity that many people enjoy, especially in a heated pool where the water temperature is regulated to provide a comfortable experience. However, have you ever noticed that on some days, the same water temperature can feel warm and inviting, while on other days, it can feel cold and uncomfortable? In this blog, we’ll explore the reasons behind this phenomenon and help you understand why swimming in a heated pool at 30 °C and higher can feel different on different days.
Water Temperature and Thermal Comfort
Before we dive into the reasons why the water temperature can feel different on different days, let’s first talk about thermal comfort. Thermal comfort refers to the feeling of warmth or coldness that a person experiences in a given environment. It’s affected by various factors, including air temperature, humidity, air movement, and clothing. In a swimming pool, water temperature is the primary factor that affects thermal comfort.
The human body is designed to maintain a core temperature of around 37°C, and our perception of thermal comfort is closely linked to this temperature. When we enter a heated pool, the water temperature affects our body’s heat transfer mechanisms. If the water temperature is too low, our body will lose heat rapidly, leading to a feeling of coldness. On the other hand, if the water temperature is too high, our body will absorb heat from the water, leading to a feeling of warmth and discomfort.
Why Does the Same Water Temperature Feel Different on Different Days?
Now that we understand the basics of thermal comfort let’s explore why the same water temperature can feel different on different days.
The air temperature plays a significant role in how we perceive the water temperature. On a hot summer day, when the air temperature is high, swimming in a pool at 32 degrees can feel refreshing and cool. On a cold winter day, however, when the air temperature is low, swimming in the same pool at the same temperature can feel chilly and uncomfortable.
Humidity is another factor that affects our perception of thermal comfort. When the air is humid, our body’s ability to cool down through evaporation is reduced, leading to a feeling of warmth and stickiness. In a heated pool, high humidity levels can make the water feel warmer than it actually is, leading to a feeling of discomfort.
Our individual differences also play a role in our perception of thermal comfort. Factors such as age, weight, and fitness level can affect how we perceive the water temperature. For example, older people tend to have a lower metabolic rate, making them more sensitive to cold water temperatures.
Little kids are more sensitive to cooler water temperatures than adults due to their smaller body size and higher surface area to body mass ratio. This means that they lose heat more quickly than adults and are more prone to feeling cold in the water.
Additionally, children’s bodies are still developing and their internal thermoregulation system is not fully developed, which can also make them more sensitive to temperature changes. Young children also tend to have a higher metabolic rate, which can help to keep them warm, but also means that they use up energy more quickly.
Overall, children may feel colder in cooler water temperatures than adults and may be more susceptible to the negative effects of cold water, such as shivering, goosebumps, and hypothermia. Therefore, at Easy2Swim we feel that it is very important to ensure our water temperature is always between 30-32°C, to ensure their comfort and safety during swimming lessons.
Water circulation within a pool can also affect how we perceive the water temperature. If the water is stagnant, it can feel cooler than if it is actively circulating. This is because stagnant water can create cold pockets within the pool, leading to a feeling of discomfort, however, the Easy2Swim pool filtration system is running at full speed, preventing this problem.
Time of Day
The time of day can also affect our perception of thermal comfort. In the early morning or late evening, when the air temperature is cooler, swimming in a heated pool at 32°C can feel cold. However, in the middle of the day when the sun is shining, the same water temperature can feel warm and inviting.
In conclusion, swimming in a heated pool at 32°C can feel different on different days due to various factors that affect our perception of thermal comfort. Air temperature, humidity, personal factors, water circulation, and time of day are all important factors to consider when trying to understand why the same water temperature can feel different on different days. By understanding these factors, you can adjust your swimming experience to ensure maximum comfort and enjoyment.
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Steps you can take to ensure your child’s comfort when entering a heated pool