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PLoS One. 2016 Sep 15;11(9):e0161749. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0161749. eCollection 2016.

The Effect of Cold Showering on Health and Work: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
2
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Medical Center Slotervaart, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
3
Risk Management, Achmea, Zeist, The Netherlands.
4
Clinical Research Unit, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
5
Department Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The aim of this study was to determine the cumulative effect of a routine (hot-to-) cold shower on sickness, quality of life and work productivity.

METHODS:

Between January and March 2015, 3018 participants between 18 and 65 years without severe comorbidity and no routine experience of cold showering were randomized (1:1:1:1) to a (hot-to-) cold shower for 30, 60, 90 seconds or a control group during 30 consecutive days followed by 60 days of showering cold at their own discretion for the intervention groups. The primary outcome was illness days and related sickness absence from work. Secondary outcomes were quality of life, work productivity, anxiety, thermal sensation and adverse reactions.

RESULTS:

79% of participants in the interventions groups completed the 30 consecutive days protocol. A negative binomial regression model showed a 29% reduction in sickness absence for (hot-to-) cold shower regimen compared to the control group (incident rate ratio: 0.71, P = 0.003). For illness days there was no significant group effect. No related serious advents events were reported.

CONCLUSION:

A routine (hot-to-) cold shower resulted in a statistical reduction of self-reported sickness absence but not illness days in adults without severe comorbidity.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

Netherlands National Trial Register NTR5183.

PMID:
27631616
PMCID:
PMC5025014
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0161749
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

Bas C.J.M. van der Heijden was employed by Achmea during the course of the study. There are no patents, products in development or marketed products to declare. This does not alter our adherence to all the PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

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