Children “scientists” in world-first study looking at health and indoor climate

How cold are Kiwi kids bedrooms?  Growing Up in New Zealand decided to find out and has identified the ideal indoor temperature and humidity range for good child health. 

Young girl with temperature sensor

Pioneering new research with more than 2,000 children acting as “young scientists” has identified the ideal indoor temperature and humidity range for good child health and recommends changes to the Building Code. 

The research is a joint project, between BRANZ and the University of Auckland longitudinal study Growing Up in New Zealand. 

It involved children in the Growing Up in New Zealand study collecting temperature and humidity data at home and school over two days.  

This new detailed indoor environment information was linked to the multiple pieces of health information collected from the children directly when they were eight years old. 

The linked information showed that an indoor temperature of between 19-25°C, with a relative humidity of 50%, measured at the children’s bedtime, was associated with the best health and wellbeing outcomes. 

It adds robust, child-specific data to the evidence supporting World Health Organization guidance on safe indoor temperatures (18-24°C).

However, the study also found that around 60% of children lived in homes where they recorded temperatures and humidity outside of this optimal range.  

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