BOSTON (CBS) — Many of us were taught that the normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Not only is that wrong, but researchers have now found that the average body temperature has been falling over time.
The 98.6 degrees number came from a German physician back in the 1850’s, but more recent studies have suggested that that number is too high. After examining data over the past 200 years, researchers at Stanford University found that not only do temperatures vary based on age, gender, body weight and time of day, but that average temperatures have fallen by about half a degree in women and a full degree in men.
They say it this trend may be due to a reduction in the human metabolic rate and the fact that we have regular heating and cooling in our homes leading to a more constant temperature environment than years past.