If You Feel Unproductive During the Summer, You’re Not Alone

published Jul 22, 2018
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Is there anything worse than feeling unproductive? We all need lazy days, but if you weren’t intending to be lazy and chill, and you actually needed to get stuff done, then being unproductive is pretty bad. For some reason, it feels like productivity justs plummets during the summer. There is a reason behind that and you shouldn’t feel bad if you finding yourself lacking productivity during June through August.

It isn’t a made up feeling if you really drag your feet to get things done during the summer. Our brains do not operate the same when we are cold and when we are hot. And if you’ve stepped outside for 5 minutes of summer 2018, you know it has been a hot one.

According to a study conducted by PLOS Medicine, people have reduced cognitive function during a heatwave. Which makes sense, when you are hot, your brain is focusing on how hot you are. Because you consciously need to acknowledge you are hot and then have to find out how to cool off. Not only that, your brain needs to fend off heat stroke, which can happen if your internal temperature hits 104°F.

The study was conducted on students in the greater Boston area during a heatwave in 2016. The average temperature in Boston during the summer are in the 80°s. PLOS Medicine researchers looked at two groups, students with AC and students without AC. The difference in temperatures led to their findings that people have decreased cognitive functions if they are too hot.

PLOS Medicine researchers wrote, “Cognitive function deficits resulting from indoor thermal conditions during HWs extend beyond vulnerable populations. Our findings highlight the importance of incorporating sustainable adaptation measures in buildings to preserve educational attainment, economic productivity, and safety in light of a changing climate.”

Just imagine if they conducted the study on students at UCLA last week, when southern California had temperatures well over 100°.

So, next time your office feels like it is 85° inside the building – email your manager ASAP or else the day is going to get unproductive, pretty fast.

H/T: The Cut