The best way to beat the heat is to probably spend time in the swimming pool or under the shower. However, a recent survey has revealed that despite the mercury touching the 40 degree Celsius mark, one-third of Mumbaikars don't have a bath every day. They bathe every alternate day.
A survey, BaTh (Bathing Trend, Belief and Behaviour Survey) conducted by National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA), revealed that of the 600 respondents in Mumbai, 32 per cent don't bathe daily. Of the 600 people surveyed, 300 were middle-aged men and women and the remaining were children in the 8-14 age group.
A majority of the respondents (up to 96 per cent) said they were exposed to the outside environment for six hours or more. Of the respondents who said they don't have a bath every day, 71 per cent contracted ailments such as flu, fever, diarrhoea or eye infections at least once every month.
Three were, however, 21 per cent respondents who said they bathe twice a day – once in the morning and once before going to bed at night. While the primary reason for bathing is removal of germs from the body, only 11 per cent were driven to bathe for this reason. Three-fourth of the respondents said they had a bath for "beauty enhancement" and to feel fresh. An astonishing 91 per cent bathed with a beauty soap, the survey revealed.
The survey has proved that bathing practices have a vital link with people's health. Doctors said bathing with anti-bacterial soap is a better proposition. "This key finding showed that the purpose of bathing – killing bacteria that could affect personal hygiene – was lost in most cases (only 6 per cent used anti-bacterial soap). So, most people are either unaware or care little about the health-related aspects of taking a bath," said Dr LG Jadhav, president – NIMA (Mumbai District Branch).
Only 8 per cent of the people polled said protection from germs and illnesses was the factor for them to decide whether or not they should have a bath; 49 per cent said they bathe to feel fresh.
Doctors, however, said 600 people is a small sample size and that a larger multi-centric study is essential to verify the results. "It is a small sample size. A bigger study should be commissioned to cross-check these results," said Dr Vishnu Banwe, assistant professor, DY Patil Medical College in Navi Mumbai.
Soap and water
600 persons in Mumbai surveyed to study bathing patterns
32% respondents said they do not bathe daily
96% stay out of home for over six hours
71% of those who do not bathe daily contracted flu, fever, diarrhoea or eye infections, at least once a month
91% of them bathe with beauty soap, 6% with anti-bacterial soap and others use ayurvedic products