With the Japanese summer comes Cool Biz (and Ultra Cool Biz), an energy-saving initiative where everyone is encouraged to turn their air conditioning to 28 degrees and wear lighter and more casual clothes in the office. Shiseido, a cosmetics company, conducted a survey into awareness of smells in the workplace to see, amongst other things, if sweat was a source of stress.
Over the 27th and 28th of March 2013, 1,248 business persons living in Tokyo and Osaka and their surrounding areas were interviewed. The ages ranged from 20 to 59 years old, but no further information was provided.
I probably sweat the most in the office; my problem with commuting is usually far too cold a carriage!
This year I’m trying out Uniqlo’s AIRism underneath my work shirts. So far they feel great, and they stop my back sweat soaking into my shirt, but I’ll wait until it gets a lot hotter before delivering my final verdict. Its odour neutralising properties, however, are no match for my underarms!
Q1: What stresses do you feel regarding Cool Biz? (Sample size=1,248, multiple answer)
Worry about the smell of my own sweat 44.8% Feeling all sticky with sweat 42.3% Cannot concentrate in the heat 38.9% Get irritable in the heat 32.3% Worry about sweat stains 31.3% Bothered by the smell of other people’s sweat 25.5% Dark office 11.8% I look all dishevelled 7.9% Don’t know what to wear 7.9% Other 1.0% Don’t feel any particular stress 26.2%
Q2: Do you worrk about smells in business-related situations more than in causal ones? (Sample size=1,248)
Very much so 13.9% Yes 50.0% No 30.7% Not at all 5.4%
Q3: During a summer day, at what point do you sweat the most? (Sample size=1,248)
Commuting 55.0% In the office 18.6% On returning home 10.2% After 5 pm 6.5% On waking 6.3% After returning home 2.7% Other 1.0%