Thermal responses of face-masked pedestrians during summer : An outdoor investigation under tree-shaded areas

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

3 Scopus Citations
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  • Huiyu He
  • Kunquan Dai
  • Zhaosong Fang
  • Zhimin Zheng


Original languageEnglish
Article number110058
Journal / PublicationBuilding and Environment
Online published10 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023


During the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic, most citizens were cooperative towards the face-masking policy; however, undeniably, face masking has increased complaints of thermal discomfort to varying degrees and resulted in potential health hazards during summer. Thus, a thermal comfort survey was conducted under tree-shaded areas generally preferred by pedestrians to explore the thermal response of face-masked pedestrians. Thirty-two subjects, with and without masks, participated in walking experiments, and their thermal parameters and physiological indicators were recorded; moreover, the subjects were asked to fill in subjective questionnaires. The results showed that although tree shades significantly reduced the average radiant temperature, dampness in the mask may cause some discomfort symptoms, among which intense sweating (54.55%) and tachycardia (42.18%) accounted for the largest proportion. Based on thermal indices, it could be concluded that face-masking does not significantly affect the thermal comfort of subjects walking in shaded areas. Notably, a 30-min walk in tree-shaded areas with face masking does not adversely affect human health or quality of life. Thus, the present assessment of the thermal safety of humans in shaded environments provides reference data for determining thermal comfort levels during outdoor walking with face masking. © 2023 Elsevier Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • Face masking, Mean radiant temperature, Thermal comfort, Thermal index, Tree-shaded areas