Soaking in a hot tub can be a truly relaxing experience. It's the perfect stress relief after a long day at the office. Given its physical and mental health benefits, it's not surprising that you'd want to spend all day in a hot tub. But it's good to know that too much of this can be dangerous. So how much time in the hot tub is considered safe?
The general recommendation is to soak in a hot tub for 15 to 45 minutes at a time. However, there are factors that determine how long to stay in a hot tub is safe, including the tub temperature, your health status, and age. Since these factors vary from person to person, it's important to know the warning signs and get out of the hot tub if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
- Risks of Staying in a Hot Tub for Too Long
- Factors Affecting How Long You Should Stay in a Hot Tub
- Staying Safe in a Hot Tub
- Get the Most Out of Your Hot Tub Investment
If you stay in a hot tub for too long, you are at risk of:
- Heat rash
- Drop in blood pressure
Your body produces sweat to release heat. The high temperature of a hot tub increases your internal body temperature, thereby causing you to sweat. This prolonged sweating can cause dehydration.
To stay safe in a hot tub, it's good to drink water just before getting in. Consider having a bottle of water handy while you soak to help prevent becoming dehydrated.
Your body's temperature rises when you soak in a hot-tub. You might start to feel dizzy when it gets too hot. If you feel dizzy, that's a warning sign to get out of the spa. Fainting may occur if you continue to soak too long.
Nausea can sometimes be caused by intense heat. No, this isn't heat stroke; it's just a warning sign that your body has overheated due to an extended stay in the hot tub.
Heat stroke, however, may occur if you remain in there for much longer. Other warning signs that your body is overheating include fatigue, headache, excessive or no sweating, change in heart rate, and tingling skin.
Your skin may start to burn the longer you soak in a tub. If you notice skin reddening, it's a warning that your time in the hot-tub should come to an end. It could also be that you just have sensitive skin.
Drop in Blood Pressure
One of the health benefits of a hot tub is that it can lower your blood pressure, which is great for hypertensive patients. Similarly, extended time in the hot tub can also put a healthy person at risk of low blood pressure. Although you won't be able to physically notice the drop in pressure, there are tell-tale signs, including lower heart rate, dizziness, blurred vision, and difficulty concentrating. If you start experiencing these symptoms, it’s time to get out of the tub.
Hot Tub Temperature
The tub's temperature is the #1 factor that determines a safe soak duration. The hotter it is, the quicker it is to suffer from heat rash, heat stroke, and dehydration.
We recommend keeping your hot tub temperature between 100 and 102 Fahrenheit. If you wish to reach the maximum recommended setting of 104 degrees, do not stay in there beyond 20 minutes. You must also be a healthy adult for this hot tub temperature to be safe.
Your Personal Health
Do not stay in if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or any heart disease until you've spoken with your doctor. These diseases can greatly increase the risk factors. The same goes for some medications that make you drowsy. So it's important to see your doctor if you're on medication. Your doctor may provide recommendations to keep you safe.
Always be conscious of the warning signs like lightheadedness, dizziness, and nausea, even though your doctor has given you the go-ahead. Whenever you experience these things, it's your body speaking. So listen to it and get out immediately.
Pregnant women may get some deep sense of relief from their pains by soaking in a spa. But no matter how good it feels, always keep the hot tub below 102°F if you're pregnant. 100-101°F is fine.
Pregnant women are also urged not to soak for more than 10 minutes at a time.
Age is of concern when considering how long to stay in a hot tub. If you're a healthy adult, you can stay in a hot tub of 102°F for as long as you feel comfortable. Again, listen to your body when it speaks.
Children should not stay in a hot tub for more than 20 minutes. 5-15 minutes is ample time for the recommended temperature of 100-102 degrees. Children under five years should not be allowed to soak in a hot tub at all. Their bodies just can't sweat enough to withstand the heat. For maximum safety, let your kids do partial immersion by using a higher booster seat.
Older adults should limit their soaking time to 10-15 minutes.
If you are a healthy adult, stick to the recommended soak time of 15-45 minutes and the recommended temperature of 100-102 Fahrenheit. Also, ensure that you're well hydrated and there's a bottle of water nearby.
It’s important to reduce or completely avoid alcohol intake while soaking in a hot tub. Alcohol can cause you to become dehydrated quickly, worsening the other risk factors.
Things you must avoid when using your hot tub include:
- Staying in when you're on a medication that causes drowsiness
- Spending time in the hot tub when battling a chronic condition like diabetes without seeking your doctor's approval
- Using electronic devices inside or near the hot tub
- Not tying up your hair to prevent it from getting caught up in the drain or filter.
Your hot tub can be such a wonderful place to be. But it also costs a lot of money to install, so you want to make the most of your investment. Read our Denver Buyer's Guide to ensure you have all the information you need to get the most out of your hot tub or swim spa.
You just have to know and observe the recommendations to do it safely. Once you understand how long you should stay in a hot tub according to your health and temperature, you can start enjoying the benefits of hydrotherapy without fear.