Disparities of indoor temperature in winter: A cross-sectional analysis of the Nationwide Smart Wellness Housing Survey in Japan

Wataru Umishio, Toshiharu Ikaga, Yoshihisa Fujino, Shintaro Ando, Tatsuhiko Kubo, Yukie Nakajima, Tanji Hoshi, Masaru Suzuki, Kazuomi Kario, Takesumi Yoshimura, Hiroshi Yoshino, Shuzo Murakami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The WHO Housing and health guidelines recommend a minimum indoor temperature of 18°C to prevent cold-related diseases. In Japan, indoor temperatures appear lower than in Euro-American countries because of low insulation standards and use of partial intermittent heating. This study investigated the actual status of indoor temperatures in Japan and the common characteristics of residents who live in cold homes. We conducted a nationwide real-world survey on indoor temperature for 2 weeks in winter. Cross-sectional analyses involving 2190 houses showed that average living room, changing room, and bedroom temperatures were 16.8°C, 13.0°C, and 12.8°C, respectively. Comparison of average living room temperature between prefectures revealed a maximum difference of 6.7°C (Hokkaido: 19.8°C, Kagawa: 13.1°C). Compared to the high-income group, the odds ratio for living room temperature falling below 18°C was 1.38 (95% CI: 1.04-1.84) and 2.07 (95% CI: 1.28-3.33) for the middle- and low-income groups. The odds ratio was 1.96 (95% CI: 1.19-3.22) for single-person households, compared to households living with housemates. Furthermore, lower room temperature was correlated with local heating device use and a larger amount of clothes. These results will be useful in the development of prevention strategies for residents who live in cold homes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1317-1328
Number of pages12
JournalIndoor Air
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov 1


  • cross-sectional analysis
  • health disparity
  • housing
  • indoor temperature
  • socioeconomic status
  • winter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Disparities of indoor temperature in winter: A cross-sectional analysis of the Nationwide Smart Wellness Housing Survey in Japan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this