Evaluation of subjective thermal strain in different kitchen working environments using subjective judgment scales

Ind Health. 2010;48(2):135-44. doi: 10.2486/indhealth.48.135.


To elucidate the subjective thermal strain of workers in kitchen working environments, we performed a cross-sectional study involving 991 workers in 126 kitchen facilities in Japan, using a self-reporting questionnaire survey and subjective judgment scales (SJS). The ambient temperature, mean radiant temperature (MRT), and wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) index were measured in 10 kitchen facilities of the 126 kitchens. The association of SJS with the types of kitchen was estimated by multiple logistic regression models. Of the 991 kitchen workers, 809 (81%) responded to the questionnaire survey. Compared with the electric kitchens, the proportion of workers who perceived the room temperature as hot to very hot was significantly higher, and the ambient temperature, MRT, and WBGT were significantly higher in the gas kitchens. Compared with the electric kitchens, workers in gas kitchens had a more than fivefold (males) and tenfold (females) higher SJS adjusted for confounding factors (male odds ratio (OR), 5.13; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.65-15.9; and female OR, 10.9; 95%CI, 3.89-30.5). Although SJS was affected by some confounding factors, our results suggest that workers in gas kitchens might be exposed to a higher heat strains than those in electric kitchens.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cooking / methods*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electric Power Supplies
  • Female
  • Fossil Fuels
  • Heat Stress Disorders / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Sex Factors
  • Temperature*


  • Fossil Fuels