Coping With This Summer’s Heatwave (And All Those To Come)
As rising temperatures continued to break records this summer, so did energy use and costs. According to NOAA, June 2022 ranked the sixth warmest on record.
Studies show that extreme heat can decrease productivity, as workers suffer fatigue and take additional breaks for safety. Extreme heat also can damage critical transportation infrastructure, like melting railroad tracks and airport runways in the U.K. in July, slowing down freight and postal deliveries.
1. Stay hydrated. Did you know our bodies are more than half water? Most people don’t drink enough water anyway, but staying hydrated is critical when temperatures (and humidity) climb toward the century mark. Keep a water bottle handy as a reminder to sip throughout the day, aiming for 64 ounces or more total.
2. Take breaks when outdoors or indoors without air conditioning, whether at work or play. Heat puts extra stress on your body, so don’t push it. OSHA has a number of resources to help prevent heat illness for workers, and the Mayo Clinic provides a list of warning signs to watch for when exercising in the heat.
3. Seek shade. You can carry an umbrella for portable shade outdoors. Some offer liners or coatings added for UV protection. Wide-brimmed hats are also a good choice.
4. Use fans (with care). Fans are a tried-and-true tool for providing relief, but it’s important to know when to use them. Evaporation is the key. An Australian study found that fans do reduce core body temperature in hot and humid conditions, but they can actually increase body temps when it’s hot and dry—like an induction oven.
5. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Performance fabrics that wick sweat are a good choice, especially in light colors that reflect rather than absorb the sun’s heat. Apply a little color theory with light blues and greens to suggest coolness for added benefit.
Andrea Kramer, president of award-winning distributor City Apparel, warns that it has been difficult to source what might have been go-to items a couple years ago.
“It could be in stock one minute and out of stock the next,” she says. “So really this summer we’ve been just navigating supply chain issues and making sure that we’re getting our customers what they need when they need it—and it may not necessarily be our first choice.”
Consider these lightweight and moisture-wicking brandable garments to keep your people cool and comfortable—but whatever you and your customers choose, be sure to come up with a few alternatives in case your first choice is unavailable.
Performance fabrics are woven to draw sweat away from the skin, helping keep the wearer cool. This Vansport Omega Solid Mesh Tech Polo Shirt wicks moisture, resists snags and holds its color for a professional look that lasts. Also features UV protection and a tagless label for added comfort. Available in 21 colors and sizes S-6X.
Vantage Apparel / PPAI 113235, S10 / www.vantageapparel.com
Tailored in a flattering feminine silhouette, the Greg Norman Ladies Play Dry Heather Solid Polo features lightweight, heathered performance mesh fabric with UPF 50+ protection. Available in black and three shades of blue, sizes S-3X.
Pro Golf Premiums Inc. / PPAI 198935, S1 / www.progolfpremiums.com
Summer heat and soft tees go together like peanut butter and jelly. For maximum comfort, opt for a soft, lightweight option like the Fruit of the Loom Adult Sofspun Jersey Crew T-Shirt, which comes in cotton pre-shrunk jersey, cotton or cotton-poly blend, depending on the color. Available in 21 colors, including heathers and solids, and sizes S-3X.
alphabroder Prime Line / PPAI 156993, S16 / www.alphabroder.com
Transition between outside heat and indoor A/C with a long-sleeve technical performance tee like the Zorrel Ladies Barbados Syntrel Long-Sleeve Popcorn Knit Tee Shirt. The lightweight SmartBlenz fabric resists snagging and pilling while also offering UPF protection and moisture management. Available in nine colors and sizes XS-4X.
OMNI Apparatech Inc. / PPAI 266770, S5 / www.zorrel.com
Lots of professionals who work both indoors and outdoors need a shirt that helps them stay cool while also maintaining a professional look. This wash-and-wear Men’s Short Sleeve Fishing Shirt features a vented back that allows air to circulate freely, plus a Velcro closure for easy embroidery. The cotton/poly performance blend is stain- and wrinkle-resistant, and two extra-large chest cargo pockets offer functional storage. Available in 21 colors, sizes XS-7X.
Tiger Hill Houston Inc. / PPAI 156060 / www.tigerhillinc.com