Author: Jessica Diaz

Taking a shower may be a quick and simple activity or it may be a spa-like indulgence. Most of us rely on showering in order to feel our cleanest and freshest, but many of us don’t know fun facts about showering.

If you want to learn some interesting, shower-related facts, be sure to read our list.

1) Showers are Fairly Lengthy – People in the USA shower for thirteen minutes on average. They would like to spend more time in the shower, just relaxing, but usually don’t, perhaps because of busy schedules or concerns about wasting water. While thirteen minutes is a fairly long time, it’s safe to say that most people step out of the shower a little sooner than they’d like to.

2) Morning Showers are Common – Of course, this fact may not be that surprising. The truth is that most people shower in the morning, probably because they need to get clean before they head out to work. Current statistics show that fifty-eight percent of people take their showers in the morning. Lots of people shower later in the day, too, but the bulk of showering happens earlier, rather than later. Showering is a great way to wake up and start the day fresh!

3) People Wash Their Hair A Lot– People wash their hair 5.7 times every week. This means that most people choose to shampoo every time that they have a shower. They might skip a day, on Sunday for example, but they definitely make shampooing a part of their shower experiences most of the time. This interest in hair care helps to fuel the billion-dollar health and beauty industry!

4) People Get Pensive in the Shower – Since the shower is such a great place to relax and unwind, it makes sense that a lot of people do their best daydreaming while they are under the gentle spray. In fact, sixty-seven percent of people use their shower time to reflect, dream and plan. Showering is definitely therapeutic and it’s a good way to ponder the past, present and future!

5) People Like to Croon While They Get Clean – If you enjoy singing, there’s a sixty-three percent chance that you do some crooning in the shower. Lots of people love to sing songs as they soap up, probably because they shower is a private place to emote and to go for those hard-to-reach high notes! Singing is also a form of therapy, so never be ashamed of singing in the shower. It’s a great way to express yourself and to de-stress!

6) Women May Worry in the Shower – Many women wear a lot of hats in life. This means that they nurture others, while also taking care of any array of career and home-related tasks. For this reason, women are sixteen percent more likely to ruminate over problems and things that they need to do while they get clean. If you’re a woman and you use your shower time to think about all that you need to do, or to ponder problems in relationships, it may be time to clear your mind instead! Daydreaming or singing may help you to manage stress more effectively and to use your downtime to better effect.

7) Showering Isn’t Always a Solo Activity – People who have partners tend to be quite open about sharing their shower time with their significant others. Statistics show that seventy-three percent of men and women have partners around while they shower, shower with their partners or otherwise share their shower spaces with other people.

8) People Step Out of the Shower to Dry Themselves – While some people may towel off while they’re in the shower, after they’ve turned off the water, most vastly prefer to get dry outside of the shower stall. It’s possible that people want more space while they’re drying off, or simply associate the shower stall area with being wet. Whether your bathroom in tiny or huge, you likely step out and grab a towel, like most other people do.

9) Men Don’t Clean Shower Stalls as Much – Women who share shower spaces with guys tend to have issues which relate to their partners or male family members failing to clean their showers after usage. In fact, forty-five percent of ladies find that men don’t pull their weight in terms of cleaning showers! If you’re a guy and you haven’t been doing your share of the cleaning, it may be time to take the pressure off of her by doing a little scrubbing, rinsing and polishing.

10) Most People Wish for Bigger Showers – In the age of HGTV, we see dream homes on a regular basis and these typically have huge and glamorous shower stalls. In real life, most people don’t have these luxurious and roomy shower spaces…but they wish that they did. Forty-eight percent of people who own their own homes wish that their shower stalls were larger. A home renovation will be the best way to enjoy the ultimate shower experience.

How to Enhance Your Shower Experience

Now that you know ten fun facts about showering, you’ll see how your own shower experience compares to that of other Americans.

If you want more from every shower, consider choosing a brand-new shower head with exciting and practical features. For example, some modern shower heads offer a true spa experience, by providing different settings, from massage spray to gentle “rainfall”. It’s possible to change your mood and enhance your well-being just by choosing the perfect setting.

Also, making your bathroom more beautiful and functional may help you to enjoy showers which are more decadent and pleasurable and less workmanlike.

Energy-efficient shower heads will also help you to enjoy long showers without wasting too much water. These days, a lot of manufacturers make shower heads which provide awesome shower experiences, while also maximizing energy efficiency. There are tons of styles to choose from at an array of price points.


https://showerremedy.com/10-fun-facts-about-showering-you-probably-didnt-know/

Some people like chocolate, others vanilla. Some prefer coffee, others tea. None are wrong. None are right. It’s the same way with shower heads. Designer bathrooms of all kinds have many different styles of shower heads. Some have small nozzles for a more pointed, powerful stream, while others have a rain shower nozzle to provide more of a voluminous, rain-like experience. No option is really “better” than the other. It’s really all about personal preference.

If your personal preference is more of a powerful, massage like spray, you may wish to steer away from the rain shower nozzle. But what if we told you – you could have both?

To take the rain-like experience even further, shower heads have recently began being engineered using airstream technology. This advanced technology draws in air which is then mixed with every droplet of water emerging from the shower head, resulting in an increased volume of water – even more closely mimicking the refreshing and invigorating feel of being in a rain shower. The more voluminous drops of water also allow for an especially efficient cleanse that is still gentle and exfoliating for your skin. So, you get the best of both worlds.

Additionally, it’s most likely a rain shower head would be installed with a hand-held version, so you can get a more direct blast of water instead of standing under the rain shower head, which is all encompassing.

With the increased water flow and the added options of both a rain shower head and handheld, you will have to take increased water flow consumption into consideration. Rain shower heads are larger and produce more water, which leads to an increased need for efficient drainage. To effectively drain the water, linear drains are increasingly being used, especially in new modern luxury residences.

This is because a linear drain not only adds a functional benefit to a bathroom, but also presents a superior level of elegance. These two super-functional items – of designer quality – are being paired in gorgeous bathrooms all over the world. And why not? It’s not often when something which works so well also looks so sweet.

Unless of course, you are talking about a chocolate sundae that satisfies a sweet tooth while looking like a work of art. (Or should that be vanilla?)

http://infinitydrain.com/blog/design-next-bathroom-rain-shower/

What does GPM mean and why is it important to your daily shower? Believe it or not, it’s the law! Your shower head is covered by federal and possibly local regulations.

What is GPM?

GPM means Gallons Per Minute. Also known as “flow rate”, GPM is a measure of how many gallons of water flow out of your shower head each minute.

Since 1992, a maximum of 2.5 GPM is the federally mandated flow rate for new shower heads. This means no more than 2.5 gallons of water should flow out each minute.

The GPM flow rate for shower heads has decreased over time. If your current shower head was made in the 1980’s or 1990’s, its flow rate could be 3.5 GPM or more!

Shower Flow Restrictions over the decades

Why is shower head GPM or flow rate important?

Federal, state, and local governments regulate shower head GPM flow rates, because the potential for water and energy savings are significant. A standard 2.5 GPM shower headuses 2.5 gallons of water each minute. That’s 25 gallons for a 10-minute shower.

VS. A low-flow 2.0 GPM shower headuses 2.0 gallons of water each minute. That’s only 20 gallons for a 10-minute shower.

If everyone in the U.S. installed 2.0 GPM shower heads, the EPA estimates annual savings of:

  • 260 billion gallons of water
  • $2.2 billion in water utility bills
  • $2.6 billion in energy costs for heating water

That’s a lot of billions!


How do local governments regulate shower heads?

To conserve resources and save money, some state and local governments mandate even lower GPM flow rates than the federal regulation.

Shower Flow Regulations differ by location
  • New York City adopted a 2.0 GPM standard in 2010
  • California and Colorado adopted a 2.0 GPM standard in 2016
  • California will move to a 1.8 GPM standard in July 2018

And many communities offer incentives and rebates to residents who voluntarily install low-flow shower heads.

Source: https://www.waterpik.com/shower-head/blog/shower-head-gpm/

December 27, 2017

bathroom renovation is an exciting task. But before jumping to choosing the latest tile or bathtub design, there are some less exciting things to consider so your project turns out just the way you dream it. Because renovating a bathroom can be overwhelming, time-consuming and costly, we prepared a simple 15-point checklist to make sure that your project stays on track and the renovation runs smoothly.

1. Budget

If you don’t know already you should work up an idea of how much you want to spend on your bathroom renovation. Setting a budget will help guide you as you make decisions about what to include in the remodel. Once you’ve figured out what you can spend and substracted the amount allocated to labor, you’ll have a clearer sense of what you can spend on tile, fixtures, and extras.

2. Time

Many people assume that if they are remodeling a small bathroom it will only take a few days, or anyway it will take much less time than a larger one. This is not necessarily the case. Depending on how many items you are changing in the bathroom your contractor will have to go through all the same steps as a larger bathroom. However, planning refers not only to defining the duration of the renovation works but also certain intermediate steps such as ordering and purchasing tiles, fixtures, custom-built vanity or cabinets to make sure they can be delivered when your contractor needs them.  Planning time is also crucial for those with only one bathroom in their house as they will have to make arrangements where to take a shower and use the toilet while the bathroom is taken apart.

3. Works sequence

When it comes to bathroom renovation by completing the job in a specific sequence you can save yourself from a lot of clean up time and mistakes. Whether you are demolishing Sheetrock or simply repainting, you always want to start at the top of the room. Remodel your ceiling first, walls second, and floors third so you can prevent damage to your new components.

4. Hidden problems

If you are doing a major upgrade to your bathroom consider doing a “full gut”. When done by a professional with expertise you end up with a zero problems bathroom that will function flawlessly and add tremendous value to your home for many years to come. Depending on the age of your home and how well it was built the biggest hidden problem you may encounter is water damage, so look for structural deficiencies in the floor framing, not properly vented plumbing, old corroded plumbing, non-waterproof tile shower/tub surrounds, etc.

5. Design style and functionality

When first starting out start by thinking about the look you want for your bathroom. There are many factors to consider like paint color, tile choices, vanities, showers, tubs, faucets, etc. It can get overwhelming very quickly so start with some research. You can start to piece together elements that you like into what will become the final design of the bathroom or you may choose a design item you want to feature in the bathroom and then work the rest of the bathroom design around it.

Design should work hand in hand with functionality so consider who will use the bathroom and how, consider an eventual resale of the house and also take a moment to think how the bathroom design will fit in with the rest of the house.

6. Measurements

There are 3 major limitations which really make size matter in bathroom renovation: the overall size of the bathroom (usually the smallest room in the house), the location of existing plumbing pipes and electrical wiring and the typical standard dimensions of bathroom fixtures. Therefore make sure you have the correct measurements and specifications when you go to the store. More frustrating than trying to shop without measurements is to end up purchasing stuff that doesn’t fit.

7. Contractor

Hiring a contract for a conceivably DIY job? Well, yes, that is a smart thing to do given the complexity of the job and difficult operations involved (electrical, tiling, plumbing, etc.). Therefore do not overlook the advantages of hiring a contractor and save yourself a load of misery and time.

8. Plumbing fixtures and features

No renovation is complete without remodeling or repairing fixtures and features, which could very well make a separate checklist themselves: shower, bathtub, toilet, bidet, sink, faucets and shower heads. You should also update or repair your mirrors and shower doors. You can also change the look of your bathroom very easily by changing out door handles, drawer pulls and the hardware for your shower doors. If you have the budget a new set of shower doors can completely change the look of your room.

9. Cabinets, storage and shelving

Planning cabinets, shelving and storing solutions is a tricky problem in most cases. In small, irregular shaped rooms like the bathroom, it is even more so. They need to be functional and accommodate all your stuff while keeping everything easily reachable, they must fit into the available space and make the most of it and on top of it all, they need to look stylish.

10. Walls and flooring

Virtually any material can be used to surface walls and floors in the bathroom as long as it’s waterproof, either naturally or by means of an impervious finish. Depending on your budget and style, ceramic, marble, and granite tiles make handsome and highly durable flooring and wall surfaces for baths. For flooring additional options may include cement (painted or stained), sheet vinyl or vinyl tiles which are inexpensive and look better than used to. Whatever your choice, always mind another key criteria for choosing your bathroom flooring: durability and slip-resistance.

11. Lighting

A bathroom can be rendered impractical or downright dangerous without adequate lighting so plan for design lighting that is functional and also creates atmosphere. Plan for maximizing natural light first, whereas for artificial light it is advisable you should have least 4 watts of incandescent lighting per square foot.

12. Accessories

Although apparently insignificant in the bigger picture of the overall project, no remodel is complete without new accessories. And surprisingly enough, the small stuff like new towels, wash clothes, soap dishes, mirrors, towel racks, bath mats do add up to the final bill. If you are on a budget, new hand towels will be better than nothing.

13. Ventilation

Ventilation is crucial in a wet room like the bathroom. It is also a tricky task which needs good planning: choosing the right fan, the right position for its installation and dealing with the electrical wiring. Poor ventilation can leave your bathroom damp, moldy and can even harm your health. A well-ventilated bathroom, however, isn’t just a healthy bathroom. Continual airflow can also prevent both the decay of any wooden trim or fixtures and the saturation of building insulation.

14. Going green

Even if you personally don’t care about going green one way or the other, the market is trending toward this so it’s something to consider. And there are many budget friendly options for adding a green touch to your bathroom: a low flow toilet that uses less water and saves you money in water bills; low-VOC or no-VOC paints; vanities made from sustainably harvested wood; recycled glass tile surface countertops, etc.

15. Final clean

The final clean should include a thorough cleaning of all cabinetry, inside and out, ductwork, walls, floor, windows, and light fixtures. Although often overlook in the planning phase, in the case of a major renovation you may want to consider contracting a cleaning service which means additional costs that impact your budget. If you feel up to doing it yourself, you may need to add a day or two to your initial timing.



By Andreea

November 15. 2012


https://freshome.com/2012/11/16/the-15-point-checklist-before-starting-a-bathroom-renovation/

Misspelling corrections made in:
Step 3: sheetrock
Step 9: accomodate
Step 11: adviseable
Step 13: mouldy



We’re all for efficiency, but sometimes a good soak is just what your body ordered.

Here’s the truth: taking a bath is way less practical and efficient than taking a shower. It’s like taking a cross-country sleeper train when you could fly in a fraction of the time, not to mention that you’re basically floating in a mixture of your own dirt and whatever was at the bottom of the tub. Plus your fingers and toes are going to get prune-y. But sometimes the body demands a prescriptive dunk—to calm muscles, nerves, and even skin. And those are the times when filling the tub and taking it slow is absolutely necessary. Here’s your guide to knowing which of them require a good soak:

1. When Your Body Aches

For athletes and the generally achy, an Epsom-salt soak is like aspirin for the entire body. If your muscles or joints are sore, draw a hot bath and pour in some EPSOAK SPORT, or a similar Epsom mixture. The magnesium and sulfate blend reduces inflammation, speeds up the recovery time of sore muscles, and in turn helps minimize future injuries. Take one before bed, go to bed relaxed, and you may wake up the next morning feeling just as calm and pain-free.

2. When Your Skin is Parched

A hot, steamy shower can dry out your skin by stripping its natural, nourishing oils. This happens a lot in winter especially: Guys will counter the cold weather with a piping hot scrubdown, which yields dry, patchy skin. Don’t do that. Instead, take a bath with warm water and skin-soothing bath oils, like from Sisley Paris. The blend of essential oils seeps deep into your skin, hydrating the entire body.

3. When Your Mind is Racing

While bath bombs are also a skin savior, they’re just as good at calming the nerves. If you’re unfamiliar with aromatherapy, the idea is pretty simple: A smell can make you feel instantly better. It’s deeply personalized. So for some it might be lemongrass-scented candles and for others gasoline. But we’re going to endorse a petrol bath. But, imagine soaking your whole body in a pool of Lush’s lemongrass goodness, and then see if you aren’t a billion percent more soothed.

4. When Your Hair is Just Right

It is possible to shower without getting your hair wet. But there’s the splashing and the steam working against you. If it can get wrinkles out of your shirts, it can compromise a good hair day, too. Besides, if your hair is the perfect amount of oily—like a day before you really need to wash it, so that it falls in that perfectly disheveled way—then you may want to preserve the perfection and forego any rinsing. In that case, you should be taking a bath.

5. When Your Throat Needs Whiskey

Shower beers are great in theory. Most of the time you open the beer with the intent of a super chillaxed shower, then you wash, rinse, dry off, and realize you left the beer on the ledge the entire time. Now, it’s just lukewarm and slippery. If you really want to imbibe while you bathe, then do it while literally bathing. Draw a bubble bath, put some whiskey on the rocks, and soak in your own excellence.

By Adam Hurly

March 25, 2017

https://www.gq.com/story/bathing-is-better-than-showering?verso=true

Multi-featured shower systems continue to provide a personal refuge for consumers, and as such, designers strive to use this space to create a customized health and wellness center that contributes to the spa bath ambiance. Spacious and open, today’s showers are expected to offer a soothing sense of serenity, while also housing everything from body sprays, handsprays and rainshower heads to music, lighting and steam.

New technology also adds a host of options, from app-driven features to touch-control and pre-programmed settings for time, temperature and water flow. At the same time, many homeowners are looking for sleek and simple designs that will allow them to age in place.

Below are some of the hottest trends in shower systems right now.

–The shower/tub combo seems to be losing ground, as a growing number of consumers seek a standalone shower, with or without a freestanding tub. In the case of remodels, that often means the size of the shower coincides with the tubs they are replacing (usually 30”x60”). However, in the case of new construction, or where the desire is for a more expansive luxury shower, dimensions of 36”x60” or larger are often preferred to provide space for two shower heads, multiple body sprays, steam and room for seating.

–Regardless of size, consumers are looking for open, uncluttered shower spaces that boast classic finishes and easy access.

–Exposed shower systems are trending, with consumers eager to show off their trendy new showers – and, as an added bonus, exposed plumbing fixtures help minimize costs when repairs are needed, since walls don’t have to be torn out to get to the problem.

–Wellness continues to be a driving factor in shower system features, with elements that promote health and relaxation in high demand. These include multiple water ports, music, chromatherapy and aromatherapy, among others.

–Advances in technology are creating new options, from digital controls and touch operation to apps that pre-set shower time and temperature. However, for some, too much “tech” is at odds with the desired spa-like feel, so many still opt for less (or concealed) technology elements.

–Universal Design continues to impact showers, not just for seniors, but for many market segments, with increased demand for convenience features ranging from body sprays and handshowers with slide bars to doorless or curbless designs and linear drains. Additionally, water conservation requirements are driving interest in high-performance shower systems that give the feeling of more water while actually using less.

http://www.kitchenbathdesign.com/127808/spa-style-shower-systems/

PULSE ShowerSpas will be at KBIS 2019. The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) is North America’s largest trade show dedicated to all aspects of kitchen and bath design. With the expansive show floor filled with the freshest designs from over 600 leading brands, it is a one-stop shop providing attendees and exhibitors the ultimate destination to network, exchange ideas and build their businesses.  
Where: Las Vegas Convention Center, Nevada
When: February 19-21, 2019
Booth #SL3420
Check out the show’s page: https://www.kbis.com

PULSE ShowerSpas will be at the Remodeling Show co-located with DeckExpo, which brings together residential remodeling and building professionals from all over the country to experience the hottest products, learn the newest building techniques, and build their professional reach through fun networking events. The in-depth education program includes hands-on training and business education through live building clinics, on-floor demonstrations, and conference sessions with industry experts. Connect with industry experts and learn new skills to elevate your craft!  
Where: Baltimore Convention Center, Maryland
When: October 10 & 11, 2018
Booth #1613
Check out the show’s page: https://www.remodelingdeck.com/en/home.html

  • Describe your business in one sentence.
Pulse ShowerSpas prides itself on being one of the leading manufacturers in decorative plumbing, specializing in shower panels and shower systems.  
  • How has your company evolved over the years?
Pulse ShowerSpas continues to evolve by constantly improving product designs, enhancing product finishes and introducing new product lines in its 15 years. Ongoing studies and analysis of market needs has helped position Pulse to be one on of the most innovative shower fixture manufactures in the market. The implementation of launching new products and diverse lines has solidified Pulse’s position in the decorative plumbing industry.  
  • How important is customization? How has it enhanced your products or relationships with clients?
Customization in this day and age is a huge part of creating the connection with your end customer. In today’s world everyone is looking for something unique that meets their needs. I always say, PULSE is small enough to create a unique product, develop a private label, design and manufacture an exclusive product, but most importantly big enough to actually make it happen.  
  • What do you have planned for the upcoming year?
The natural evolution for PULSE is to keep growing the line into other bathroom fixtures such as freestanding tubs and tub fillers, safety bars for the growing aging in place market and also bathroom faucets. Part of these products are already a reality for PULSE but we have much more coming real soon.  
  • Tell us about new products/innovations you’re introducing.
One of our focuses right now is developing products that are water saving. PULSE is located in California where water conservation is an instrumental part of our everyday life. The re-engineering of our body jets and fixtures have given PULSE the advantage of keeping our shower panels as an option for areas where low GPM are enforced. We have also developed LED temperature readers that do not need batteries or electricity to function. They are completely water power generated and are available in our line.  
  • What is your company’s process for creating new products?
The first step is to always listen. We listen to customers, our builders, our contractors and our team members. Once we have established a clear idea of what people are looking for in their shower experience, we begin to sketching some ideas and create the 3D files. This part is all done in-house, right here in California. Once we’ve created the 3D files we meet with our engineers at our manufacturing facility in China and finalize all the details. Being open to new concepts and trends is most important through this entire process.
Read the online magazine in the following link: http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201809/index.php#/0 
(PULSE is on page 98-99)

Geert A. Buijze and his colleagues asked 3,000 volunteers in the Netherlands to finish their morning showers with a 30-, 60-, or 90-second blast of cold water, or to shower as they usually did, for 30 consecutive days. Then the researchers looked at the work attendance records of the same people over that period. On average, in all the groups that doused themselves with cold water, people were absent 29% fewer days than people in the control group. The researchers’ conclusion: Cold showers lead to fewer sick days.

Dr. Buijze, defend your research.

Buijze: This is the first high-level evidence showing that cold showers can benefit your health. People who took them for at least 30 seconds for one month called in sick 29% less than our control group — and 54% less if they also engaged in regular physical exercise.
HBR: But why would cold showers make us less sick?
This is a subtle but important point: Participants who took the cold showers actually reported feeling ill just as many days, on average, as the people who showered normally. But either their symptoms were less severe or they felt more energetic, so they were better able to push through the sickness and function anyway. The exact effect on the immune system is unclear, but we do have some knowledge of the pathway through which it works. Cold temperatures make you shiver — an autonomous response to keep your body temperature up. It involves a neuroendocrine effect and triggers our fight-or-flight response, causing hormones like cortisol to increase, shortly before we shift to a relaxation response. Moreover, cold temperatures activate the brown — or good — fat in the body.
What effect does that have?
Brown fat doesn’t have any proven connection to immunity, but it does affect the body’s thermoregulation. When activated, it keeps the body warm by burning calories. It may also increase your energy and metabolism and help control your blood sugar. That could reduce your risk of obesity and diabetes.

Cold temperatures trigger a fight-or-flight response.

Couldn’t the cold showers just be producing a placebo effect, though? People feel tougher after starting the day shivering?
We can’t rule that out, but even if this is merely a psychological phenomenon, that would be OK with me. The placebo effect has a negative reputation in medicine, but in life and health sciences, any salutary effect achieved by natural means, rather than a pill, is something to strive for. Placebos rely on neurobiologic pathways, too.
But what about so-called presenteeism? Shouldn’t people who feel ill stay out of the office?
Not necessarily, especially if their symptoms aren’t bad. Most of us will try to work through a common cold, for example. But we should take the necessary hygienic precautions — washing our hands, covering our mouths when we cough — to protect colleagues from pathogens.
Why study cold showers instead of a more obvious health booster like exercise or diet?
Previous studies have shown that physical exercise can strengthen the immune system, but I’m not aware of consistent evidence showing that any other daily rituals or habits do. Research on dietary supplements, for example, has yielded conflicting results. And while malnutrition can compromise your immune system, proof that superfoods boost it has been elusive.
Cold showers interested us because there have been numerous claims — throughout history and across cultures — about their beneficial effects. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed cold baths for his patients. In ancient Roman times, one ritual involved moving through several rooms with increasing temperatures, then ending with a plunge in a cold pool — hence the Latin term frigidarium. You still see practices like this in spas around the world. Athletes take ice baths to reduce local inflammation and soreness and improve injury recovery times.

Two-thirds of the people who took cold showers continued them after the study.

We also took inspiration from the Dutch Iceman — Wim Hof, this guy who’s become famous in the Netherlands for using gradual exposure to the cold and breathing exercises to train his body to withstand freezing temperatures for up to two hours, and who has taught others to do the same. A recent study even showed that healthy adults can use those techniques to modulate their immune response when injected with a pathogen, leading to fewer and less severe symptoms. I was approached about coauthoring a book on cold showers — the writer wanted a medical expert on board — but I told him that I wanted to investigate their effect instead.
So how cold is cold?
We instructed our study participants to shower as they normally did — as hot as they wanted, for as long as they wanted — then to make the water as cold as possible for the prescribed amount of time. This took place in the Netherlands during the winter months, from January 1 to April 1, when the groundwater in homes’ wells was roughly between 10 and 12 degrees Celsius — which is really cold. It was a miracle that we had more than 4,000 volunteers, about 3,000 of which we enrolled.

The duration of the cold shower didn’t make a difference.

Were these people masochists? Or cold shower aficionados?
Obviously, you can’t do a study on cold showers with people who would never consider taking one. But none of our participants had taken them regularly before. They were a mixed group of healthy adults, with no severe heart or respiratory problems. Some of them were probably inspired by the Iceman stories. Many told us they were afraid the experiment would make them miserable, and in the beginning it did. The vast majority found it uncomfortable, and some hated it, so they needed resilience to get through the month. As time went on, though, people started adapting and feeling less bothered. And when we asked if they would keep taking cold showers after the month ended, 91% said yes, and two-thirds did continue them. That, to me, is the most indicative sign of a beneficial effect — whether physiological or psychological. Taking a freezing cold shower is not something you do for pleasure.
And 90 seconds of cold didn’t produce a stronger effect than 30?
No, duration didn’t matter. The reduction in sick days was the same across the 30-, 60-, and 90-second groups. It’s possible you could do less than 30 seconds, but for now we know that’s enough.
Were there any benefits beyond fewer sick days?
Productivity while at work was the same regardless of cold showers or none, although theoretically the cold shower people were cumulatively more productive over the study period, since they were absent less often. And though we saw an early improvement in self-reported quality of life for that group, that effect disappeared over time.
Is it possible the sick-day effect would go away over time, too?
Maybe. But I think that even if you became habituated to the cold water, so you felt less discomfort and shivered less, the neurobiologic effect would remain. Could I achieve the same result by moving to Newfoundland? I think not, because we modify our behavior to fit the climate around us. If you’re living in Canada with regular temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celsius, you heat your house, car, and office, and when you’re outside you layer up so your body stays at 37 degrees Celsius. Perhaps if you exposed yourself to the cold and created the same shivering effect, it would help, but we don’t yet have any data to support that hypothesis.
At what temperature do you shower?
My preferred style is like that of James Bond in Ian Fleming’s novels. I alternate temperatures, starting with a steaming hot shower and shifting straight to freezing cold.
Have you noticed any changes since you started this regimen?
My experiences have been comparable with those of the participants. Once you adapt and get resilient, it becomes an addictive energetic morning challenge. Whether you feel ill or healthy, a cold shower kick-starts the day!
By Alison Beard
FROM THE MARCH–APRIL 2018 ISSUE
https://hbr.org/2018/03/cold-showers-lead-to-fewer-sick-days