A daily cold shower seems to have some psychological benefits

By Alex Fradera Exposing your body to cold water has been promoted as a health tonic since at least the Roman period, so it’s about time we gave this a thorough investigation. In a new paper in PLOS One Geert Buijze and his colleagues report on the health and wellbeing effects of the “cool challenge” – a 30-day event in the Netherlands that involved more than 3000 people taking daily showers that ran cold for at least the last 30 seconds each time. The clearest finding was a 29 per cent reduction in sickness absence for those who took cold showers compared with their colleagues who weren’t involved in the challenge; the length of the cold blast, whether 30 seconds or 90, didn’t matter. However cold showers didn’t provide an immunisation against sickness as such. The challenge participants felt ill as frequently as their colleagues, it’s just that somehow they were better able to fight through it and make it to work. Most of the psychological factors that the researchers measured were not influenced by the chilly treatment. Participants reported a small increase in quality of life after 30 days, but that disappeared when re-measured later; meanwhile work productivity and levels of anxiety were unaffected. But the participants did report some other benefits such as higher energy levels, comparable to drinking a coffee, and over two thirds chose to continue the challenge for a further two months. On this evidence, cold showers...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: In Brief Source Type: blogs

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Source: Zeitschrift fur Evidenz, Fortbildung und Qualitat im Gesundheitswesen - Category: Health Management Tags: Z Evid Fortbild Qual Gesundhwes Source Type: research
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