If you keep your home at a comfortable 70 degrees year-round, you might want to switch it up a bit: Fluctuating indoor temperatures are good for your metabolism, suggests a new scientific report, and may even be an important way to fight obesity and diabetes.
The authors don’t suggest dramatic changes in comfort level, but they do say that exposure to mildly cold and warm environments may have real health benefits. Their paper, published in Building Research & Information, highlights several findings that support their theory.
In 2015, for example, the researchers found that diabetics who were exposed to 10 days of intermittent cold (59 degrees for a total of six hours a day) saw their insulin sensitivity increase by more than 40%. “This is comparable with the best available pharmaceutical or physical activity therapies,” the authors wrote.
Several studies have also suggested that exposure to heat or cold can have effects—both positive and negative—on cardiovascular processes, including blood pressure and heart rate, as well as the immune system.