Out of Control Policy Blog

Americaís Sweatiest City

It's not Houston, not Miami either:

    For the third time in five years, Phoenix has been named the sweatiest city in the United States.

    Proctor and Gamble Co. handed out the distinction in their fifth annual sweat survey. El Paso, in 2004, and San Antonio, in 2002, were the other two cities to take home the title.

    According to the study, they estimated how much sweat an average person would produce after walking around for one hour during the summer months.

    With an average temperature of just over 93F last summer, it was concluded that the average person would produce 26 ounces of sweat per hour in Phoenix.

    According to Jay Gooch, a sweat expert with Old Spice, Phoenix residents could combine to produce enough sweat in less than three hours to fill an Olympic sized pool.

If sweat production is what we're after, then maybe Old Spice's "sweaty" list should be mixed with Men's Fitness's annual "fattest" list. Old Spice measures the sweatiness of an average person (I think 175 lbs is the figure used), but why not use the average weight of folks from Phoenix, El Paso, etc. instead? Don't bigger bodies produce more sweat?

Based on this approach, which city would be sweatiest? Actually, seems like many of the same cities–El Paso, San Antonio, Phoenix–would be at or near the top of the list. Other cities that score high on fat and (at least from my experience) sweat include Chicago, New Orleans, and New York.

And for those of you who wonder how dry-heat Phoenix could out-sweat a giant sauna like Miami:

    the distinction for the most uncomfortable city to live in did not go Phoenix. Instead, that distinction went to Miami because of the humidity as well as heat.

    Gooch says, "In Phoenix you sweat much more than in Miami, but it evaporates quickly as it is such dry air so you don't notice as much. In Miami the sweat stays on your skin."

Yet Americans don't seem to mind the sweatiness of the South and West that much. After all, the Sun Belt is where the most growth(pdf) is these days.

Sweaty article here.

Fatty article here.

Ted Balaker is Producer


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