Massachusetts: To bathe daily or not – A topic of debate since time immemorial, where many have given their opinions and ‘excuses’ of whether it is healthy to bathe daily. Though many would find it therapeutic, some would call it a habit followed on a daily basis.
People residing in tropical countries, hot weather and humidity would swear by the calming effect a cold shower would provide, giving relief from the sweat and grime.
While in colder countries, the chill may prevent people from bathing daily, especially if hot water is not available.
Dr. Robert H Shmerling, MD and Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing in his blog mentioned that the findings he and his team have found regarding to bathing daily, suggest that approximately two-thirds of Americans shower daily, In Australia, it’s over 80 per cent. But in China, about half of people report bathing only twice a week. He says that in the US, the daily shower tends to start around puberty and becomes lifelong. Why? Dr Shmerling says that the daily shower is more about habit and societal norms than health. Perhaps that’s why the frequency of bathing or showering varies so much from country to country.
He agrees that there is some merit to the reasons like concerns about body odour, helps waking up, a morning routine that may include working out – for a daily shower. “Each of these has merit, especially considering that personal or work relationships can be jeopardized by complaints about body odour or personal hygiene. But what is an acceptable option in this regard varies from culture to culture. And some (perhaps a lot) of what we do when it comes to cleaning habits is influenced heavily by marketing.”
Dr Shmerling sticks out his neck to say that the daily shower is highly overrated and he questions how much the everyday bathe achieves in terms of health. He says, “In fact, a daily shower may even be bad for your health.”