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Normal human body temperature


Normal human body temperature is a concept that depends on the place in the body at which the measurement is made. The value of 36.8 °C ±0.7 °C, or 98.2 °F ±1.3 °F. is the common oral measurement. Rectal measurements, or measurements taken directly inside the body cavity, are typically about a half degree Celsius (1 °F) higher. The core body temperature of an individual also tends to vary during the day and with activity level, with the lowest value in the second half of the sleep cycle; this low point, called nadir, is one of the primary markers for circadian rhythms.

In 1861, Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich claimed to measure the temperatures of one million people, and reported the average to be 37 °C.[1]

In the United States, normal human body temperature is commonly quoted as 98.6 °F which is an exact conversion of 37 °C. This implies more accuracy than is actually present, though; to maintain the correct number of significant figures, the conversion would actually just be 99 °F.

In Russia, the commonly quoted value is 36.6 °C (97.9 °F), based on an armpit reading. According to the Russian pharmaceutical chain named 36.6, "36.6 is the ideal body temperature in Centigrade for healthy adults and children".[2]

In reality, the expected normal core body temperature for an adult is expected to lie within a range of possible values. Although the range varies by source, one commonly cited normal range is 36.4 to 37.1 °C (97.5 to 98.8 °F). Due to the normal variation in human body temperature, this value could reasonably be rounded to 37 °C or 98 °F.


  1. ^ Mackowiak, P. A.; S. S. Wasserman, M. M. Levine (1992-09-23). "A critical appraisal of 98.6 degrees F, the upper limit of the normal body temperature, and other legacies of Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich". JAMA 268 (12): 1578-1580. doi:10.1001/jama.268.12.1578. Retrieved on 2007-08-22.
  2. ^ Corporate Profile. Company - Pharmacy Chain 36.6 (2007-07). Retrieved on 2007-08-23.
  • Wong, Lena (2005). Temperature of a Healthy Human (Body Temperature). The Physics Factbook. Retrieved on 2007-08-22.

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Normal_human_body_temperature". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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