Humid weather: what are the effects on the human body?

Back to list 2019-07-09 14:38:01

Raining season is here!

During the summer, southeast monsoon from the western Pacific Ocean and southwest monsoon from the equatorial Indian Ocean blow onto the Chinese mainland, causing most of the rainfalls. Due to the excessive amount of moisture brought by rainfalls, the humidity level could reach to as high as 100 percent level in a rainy day.

In a humid day, our body feels warmer because the vapor saturation in the air slows down the process of evaporation of our sweat, which is one of the mechanisms our body adopts to reduce the internal heat. This undesirable effect is more obvious during July and August, during that time rainfalls and humid days are more frequent. Besides that, there are multiple effects of humidity on our body, good or bad, that we should pay close attention to.

What are the effects of humidity?

According to scientists, the optimal humidity level is between 35 percent and 50 percent. When the humidity level reaches 60%, our body will start noticing the effects of humidity.

Beside feeling sticky, grumpy and having frizzy hair, which can be very uncomfortable, you will mostly notice an excessive sweating, higher rate and depth of blood circulation and faster respiration because our body is trying to get rid of the extra heat when our body sweat no longer evaporates efficiently.

Excessive perspiration causes a loss of water, salt and chemicals that are crucial in maintaining the normal functions of our body.

There are also some other effects:

- Excessive perspiration

- Increased rate and depth of blood circulation

- Increased respiration

- Overheat

- Fatigue

- Muscle cramps

- Heat exhaustion

- Fainting

Another harmful effect of humidity is that it can influence allergies and impact respiratory diseases brought by biological agents such as mold and mildew. Mold, mildew and mites all prosper in humid environments. Some mold are very dangerous because they can impair our respiratory system, circulation, mental faculties and even cause death.

Humidity can worsen the asthmatics symptoms because mold spores can easily thrive in a humid environment. The air becomes heavier, full of mold, dust mites and fungi, so it becomes more difficult to breathe in and more likely to cause asthmatic symptoms. Moreover, your skin might also suffers from hot and humid weather. Indeed, when your pores are not able to release sweat because the air is already saturated, this can lead into a rash on your epidermis. People usually develop heat rash on areas of skin that rub together: inner thighs or under the arms. The heat rash is, however, less of a health concern according to doctors, despite the uncomfortable feelings it creates.

What are the benefits?

Compared with the prolonged list of its negative effects, its benefits seem pretty modest and yet controversial too. Actually, the list of benefits is very short compared to the negative impacts of humidity.  Most scientists and doctors don’t really agree on a list of benefits but high humidity seems to be a good remedy against acne. A suitable humidity level for the human body is between 35 percent and 50 percent.

How to handle the effects of warm and humid weather?

In order to stay safe and avoid the negative effects of humidity combined with hot temperatures, we recommend to:

- Drink enough water

- Eat cool foods

- Wear loose and cotton clothing

- Take a shower or use a wet towel to cool down

- Stay in shade or cool area

- Take a rest

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