Doctors say the average human body temperature is cooling down

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Doctors say the average human body temperature is cooling down.

98.6 degrees Fahrenheit has been accepted as the average body temperature since 1851, but new studies show the correct number is now closer to 97.5 degrees.

Visits to the doctor routinely include taking the patient's temperature.

Providers say that the newly discovered decrease in average body temperature does not affect their everyday practice.

“Just everybody does vary from person to person. Also every person varies from, it could be time of day, season,” said Rebcca Jochim, a family nurse practitioner at CHI Saint Alexius Health.

Jochim says that the hospital measures normal temperature to range between 97 and 99 degrees Fahrenheit.

Patients experiencing a temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, however, may have a fever.

Scientists say that the decrease could be attributed to lower metabolic rates on average.

They say living in an era of thermostats and less infectious diseases has allowed our body's to exert less energy and relax into the new average.