The health benefits of spas were discovered by the Romans and to this day they are used to promote good health and relaxation. Aside from creating an improved sense of wellbeing, hot tubs help to increase your blood flow and ease the pain of arthritis and muscular injuries. What’s more, hot tubs can be sociable and fun – especially after a hard day at work or a days walk on the blustery moors.
Despite these health benefits, few hot tub users are aware of the potential health risks from bathing in unclean water. Warm spa water that has not been chemically treated can harbour bacteria, viruses and even diseases. It is essential the right amount of chemicals are added to the water on a regular basis because bacteria thrive between 30 and 45 degrees (the normal temperature range for hot tubs).
Some bacteria are potentially dangerous and cause skin infections including pseudomonas folliculitis. Other more serious bacteria, which you can catch from an unclean spa, include Legionella, E coli and Hepatitis A. It is vital to wash before you use a hot tub and to make sure it is regularly cleaned using the right amount of chemicals.
If you’re pregnant it’s advisable not to use a hot tub because of prolonged submersion in hot water. However tempting, it is also advisable not to drink alcohol, smoke, have too much caffeine or take illegal substances. The heat from the hot tub can cause people to pass out and any debris can get into the water filters or collect at the bottom of the hot tub.