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Metabolic Heat Gain from Persons

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The table below indicates sensible and latent (vapor) heat from persons. The values can be used to estimate heat loads that must be handled by air conditioning systems.

Note that the values are based on older ISO and ASHRAE standards. Later ISO and ASHRAE standards should be checked for updated values.

For full table - rotate the screen!

Metabolic Heat Gain from Persons
Degree of ActivityTypical ApplicationAverage Metabolic Rate - male adult

Room Dry Bulb Temperature (oC)
Heat (W)
Seated at rest Cinema, theater, school 100 50 50 55 45 60 40 67 33 72 28 79 21
Seated, very light work Computer working 120 50 70 55 65 60 60 70 50 78 42 84 36
Office work Hotel reception, cashier 130 50 80 56 74 60 70 70 60 78 52 86 44
Standing, walking slowly Laboratory work 130 50 80 56 74 60 70 70 60 78 52 86 44
Walking, seated 150 53 97 58 92 64 86 76 74 84 66 90 60
Moderate work Servant, hair dresser 160 55 105 60 100 68 92 80 80 90 70 98 62
Light bench work Mechanical production 220 55 165 62 158 70 150 85 135 100 120 115 105
Moderate Dancing Party 250 62 188 70 180 78 172 94 156 110 140 125 125
Fast walking Mountain walking 300 80 220 88 212 96 204 110 190 130 170 145 155
Heavy work Athletics 430 132 298 138 292 144 286 154 276 170 260 188 242
  • 1 W = 3.41 Btu/hr

Heat Generated from Human Body

The diagram below is for moderate activity- seated, very light work - computer working person.

  • sensible heat = convection and radiation
  • latent heat = evaporation
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Related Topics

Air Conditioning Systems

Design of Air Conditioning systems - heating, cooling and dehumidification of indoor air for thermal comfort.

Air Psychrometrics

Moist and humid air calculations. Psychrometric charts and Mollier diagrams. Air-condition systems temperatures, absolute and relative humidities and moisture content in air.


Human physiology vs. air quality, comfort temperatures, activity and metabolic rates. Health effects of gases adn polutions like carbon monoxide and more.

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Emissions from the Human Body

Gaseous polutants emissions from human bodies.

Great Sensible Heat Factor - GSHF

The Great Sensible Heat Factor is the ratio sensible to total heat in a cooling coil.

Heat Discomfort Zones

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Heat Index vs. Humidity

The influence of humidity on the apparent temperature and the heat index.

Heat Losses from Electrical Equipment

Heat loss from electrical equipment like switch-gear, transformers and variable frequency drives.

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Specific heat of the human body - compared to substances like protein and wood.

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Composition of the human body.

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Heat gain from persons in air conditioned spaces - in btu/hr.

Humans - Required Rest Time

Relaxation rest time vs. working time and activity.

Met - Human Metabolic Rates

Metabiolic Rate - Met - is used as a measuring unit for human body heat or power production.

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pH in human materials like blood, salvia and more.

Physiology - Activity and Metabolic Rates

Heat production from the human body vs. activity.

Predicted Mean Vote Index (PMV)

PMV index predicts mean comfort response of a larger group of people.

Required Building Space per Person

Room area per person - may be used to calculate typical indoor climate loads.

Room Sensible Heat Factor - RSHF

Room Sensible Heat Factor - RSHF - is defined as the sensible heat load divided by the total heat load in a room

Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT)

The Wet Bulb Globe Temperature can be used to measure the general Heat-Stress index.

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