Time Temperature Curves

Today, just for kicks, I decided to take my temperature throughout the day and graph it. Over a 12 hour period I took 28 temperature readings. I figured this exercise would give me a control for when I do get sick and also provide some insight into how body temperatures change throughout the day. I took a temperature reading about twice an hour, though I didn’t do it on the clock so the data points are not perfectly spaced.

Researching the experiment before I started, I found the following graph on the American Psychological Association’s website. It shows a normal temperature expectation for a day person and a night person through a waking period.

37 Celsius = 98.6 Fahrenheit

Now, let’s see how my temperature scatter plot measures up to that norm


And now with a trendline



Average temperature: 97.14F (36.2C)
Lowest: 95.4F (35.2C)- 8:45am
Highest: 98.3F (36.8C)- 4:25pm

It should be noted that these temperatures resulted from a mostly sedentary Mike D. I’ll try and remember to bring my thermometer to Kung Fu tomorrow and see what happens to my temperature post workout.

5 thoughts on “Time Temperature Curves

  • 11/30/2009 at 9:02 am

    Wow, this is directly applicable to the lesson I gave on Wednesday about muscle movement creating heat. Can you come up with a post concerning the digestive system in about a month?

  • 11/30/2009 at 9:19 am

    I’ll leave the lesson plans to you. Though this was a fun experiment for me, so your students might find it somewhat fun too.

    Throughout the day I’d do little tests to see what would have the greatest impact on my temperature. By far the biggest spike was almost a 1 degree bump from taking a hot shower in the morning.

  • 11/30/2009 at 10:55 am

    It would be cool if you hooked up a body monitor that recorded like every minute your heart rate, temp (more?), and also kept a tape recorder on or something and said everything you were doing for the whole day. That would probably result in some seriously interesting data, because then you could get small transients in there too for specific events, let’s say for example…. looking at a picture of Elle MacPherson.

  • 11/30/2009 at 11:03 am

    I agree. I wonder how quickly our body temperature can change from the onset of emotions… whether fear, lust, or grief.

    I think it would also be awesome to get a year of continuous streaming data to see how seasons and daylight influence body temperature. Doing so with a wealth of people could give further insight into how body temperature changes as we age.

  • 11/30/2009 at 11:06 am

    Of course, people around you might think you’re nuts since you’d be talking to yourself all day saying everything you’re doing, and they probably would have no idea why and chalk it up to mental breakdown.

    “I’m drinking a coffee”

    “I’m going to the bathroom”

    “I’m talking to my boss and getting really annoyed”.


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