Effect of humidity on human comfort and productivity after step changes from warm and humid environment

Hitomi Tsutsumi*, Shin ichi Tanabe, Junkichi Harigaya, Yasuo Iguchi, Gen Nakamura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Citations (Scopus)


Subjective experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of humidity on human comfort and productivity under transient conditions from hot and humid environment to thermally neutral condition. Two climate chambers, "Chamber 1" and "Chamber 2", adjoined each other were used for this study. Subjects were exposed to 30 °C/70%RH air in Chamber 1 for 15 min with 2.0 met of metabolic rate. Then they moved into Chamber 2, where 4 humidity conditions, 30, 40, 50 and 70%RH were examined. Air temperature was adjusted to keep SET* constant at 25.2 °C for all conditions. Subjects were exposed in Chamber 2 for 180 min performing 2 kinds of simulated office work. Positive effects of low humidity on subjective pleasantness were found under transient condition at low humidity due to more evaporation from human body, while no significant difference in thermal sensation and humidity sensation among 4 relative humidity levels was obtained. Subjective performance was found to be at the same level under all conditions. However, subjects reported to be more tired at 70%RH after humidity step change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4034-4042
Number of pages9
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Dec


  • Comfort
  • Humidity
  • Productivity
  • Step change
  • Subjective experiment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


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