Survey reveals British hygiene habits

Posted: Thursday 15th June 2017

In a survey of 1,500, 70% of time-scant Brits prefer showering.

Some love a refreshing shower in the morning to help rouse and prepare them for the day ahead. The shower functions as an efficient and convenient way to get clean quickly. Others prefer to lie back, immersed in the steaming hot water of a freshly ran bath, seeing it as a recreational activity, and a little treat, rather than a means to an end.

Environmentalists have long heralded showers over baths considering they use a lot less water, but research has contested this - especially for those who love long hot showers!

The shower versus bath debate is long reigning in the UK, so bathroom and shower experts, were interested in finding out which one is the nation's favourite, along with exploring British hygiene habits. conducted a survey of 1,500 Brits across the country, investigating whether they prefer showers or baths and what their preferred time to shower is.

The survey found:

- 70% of respondents stated they prefer showers, 17% prefer baths.

- The evening is the most popular time to wash (56%), followed by morning (38%) and other (6%).

- The average shower lasts 11 minutes whereas the average bath lasts for 18 minutes and wastes more water.

- The gender gap was non-existent for baths (15% female, 15% men), but results for showers yielded slightly more men (75% male, 67% female).

The overwhelming reason for Brits preferring baths was due to its relaxing nature; and its dual purpose. The reason for bathing was frequently cited as not just somewhere to wash, but for me time; to read, drink a glass of wine, relax, reflect and try out different bath products.

The respondents who opted for baths, cited that the most common activity to carry out in the bath was to read a book, followed by listening to music, drinking a glass of wine, watching TV and browsing the internet. 3% of work obsessed Brits even mentioned checking their work emails in the bath!

"Baths are more relaxing- you can just lie there with a glass of wine or a book. I'm on my feet all day at my job so it's nice to lie back in a hot bath and not have a care in the world. [Zoe, hairdresser, 29]

The main reasons given for showering was that they are quick, convenient, and waste less water and you leave feeling cleaner.

"A shower is quick and easy. You don't have to wait for the water to run. I get up in the morning, jump in the shower and it helps wake me up and get ready for the day! I don't really have the time for baths. [Maya, 42, marketing consultant].

It appears that there is also a striking seasonal difference when it comes to Brits hygiene habits. In the summer, the majority of respondents shower daily or more (78%). However, in the winter it seems many lazy Brits skip their shower with only 66% showering daily, 23% every other day and 11% leave it every 3 days!

Britain's water usage has been increasing since the 1930's and is continuing to rise. So, is the shower really more economical? Research has noted that the average 8-minute-long shower uses the same amount of water as the average bath, and those showering for 10 minutes and more will use more than that.

The survey found that, for those showering for 11 minutes, around 85 litres of water (or 135 in a power shower!) is wasted and over 35% of that (30 litres+) is excess water. The average bath is filled up 80 litres but the longer time spent in the bath means less of this water would count as excess.

So, the shower-lovers in our survey who ironically assert their preference for showering as a way of conserving water are not as squeaky clean as one had hoped.

Dermatologists have stated that showering is slightly better for your skin, as when you soak in the bath for a long period of time it can dry out your skin. The pressure of the warm water is good for soothing muscular pain and the steam is good for clearing out your nose if you are run down with cold. director, Martin Smith comments:

"We have definitely witnessed an increase in a preference to shower. With the hectic lifestyles of many Brits, showers are more time efficient. Also, modern showers are becoming better and better and a lot more stylish. You can have an extremely powerful shower in a matter of minutes of it warming up. A shower certainly serves its purpose, so it's no surprise more people are having them installed."

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May 2018

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