Design School


Body Mapping for Clothing Design

Group: Environmental Ergonomics

Project: Providing knowledge on the body’s sweating response during exercise

2005 - 2017


George Havenith





Kobe University (Jpn)

University of Wollongong (Aus)


This project looked at how humans use many response processes in order to regulate temperature, and how these processes show strong variations across different areas of the body. Therefore this project developed ‘body maps’ of several processes: sweating rates, skin temperature, temperature sensitivity and wetness sensitivity.

This helps designers decide on where to place specific fabrics and design features when designing sports apparel, in order to keep athletes warmer in the cold, and cooler in the heat.

The Body Mapping data we have compiled is now widely used by the original sponsors (adidas & Decathlon) but also by other companies in apparel design (e.g. Helly Hansen) and in the design of human simulators (Thermetrics & ThermoAnalytics). The research team also provided insight on human thermoregulation for the development of Team GB’s ClimaCool® apparel as well as for the Team GB’s track cycling ‘Hot Pants’.

“The body maps of sweat production zones have made a tremendous contribution to adidas’ understanding of human performance and have enabled adidas to design better performing apparel.” adidas futures, Germany, Sport Research Director.