back to article Do we really need a daily shower or bath to stay healthy?

Asked by Sarah Murdoch and Karl Stefanovic Today, Nine TV Network, Sydney, Australia One of the most widely held myths of modern society is that we humans need to shower or take a bath each day (or even more often than that) for good health. In modern industrial society today we shower and otherwise bathe for mostly social …


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  1. Edward Barrow

    No wonder they're running out of water

    It's the world's driest continent, yet nine percent of them shower three times a day?

    Clearly the gene for criminal irresponsibility is still there....

  2. Richard Russell

    the cleanest people

    Yuss, Doctor, I have an argument. The frequency of showers is only one factor in people's cleanliness. Another is how dirty they get in between. Yet another is the thoroughness of the shower - use of soap, scrubbing brush, scalding hot water, cleansing creams and the like. And then there's the cleanliness of the clothes to consider. How often do Aussies wash their garments?

    So many questions, so little time

  3. Jonathan


    Standards...were different THAN compared to those of today.

  4. Matt Thornton


    Those figures do NOT imply that no Australian goes more than a day without showering. What a load of rubbish!

  5. Richard Russell


    "Standards were different compared to [or with] those of today" Although "standards were different from [US "than"]those of today" would be simpler, shorter, and better.

  6. Toby Murcott


    Hmm... I'm with Stephen Juan here, "then" works better than "than".

    And yes, I have been accused of being a pedant on more than one occasion...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I sorry but what are you basing your analysis on?

    Having a background in Cultural anthropology, I couldn't help but wonder, how such a conclusion was made in this article.

    Bathing rituals stem from many aspects, mostly cultural, and many (as stated earlier) from geological situations. Of course, this is topped off by the social standings of the people in that culture.

    My expertise lies in Asian cultures, so I will be the first to say that most of my information about the European and North American cultures is second hand at best (though I am from a North American origin). And quite frankly my information on the Australian cultures is very limited too.

    So, assuming your data is correct on the "showering" habits of Australia is not some information pulled out of the sky, I would still have to argue that daily bathing rituals may seam unique to Euro-N. American-Australian cultures, it is, and has been commonplace in Japan for over a century.

    This culture was considered barbaric by many Europeans who came to Japan during the early contact between Europe and Japan, and many Americans felt it excessive when they forced Japan open to the West in the 19th Century.

    So, to put it short, what's happening in Australia is nothing new.

    Now as to the point whether it is healthier or not, I did not see any data in the article supporting this assumption.

    Going back to the Japanese bathing culture, it is is a given in Japan, that you will get sick if you don't bathe on a daily basis. It has been said by anthropologists, that this may be from the high humidity in the summer, making it easier for bacteria to grow, thus keeping the body clean was paramount in getting rid of illnesses in the summer (not to mention that it sure feels better to take a shower after a good sweat ;) ). And Japan's dry air during the winter, meant that taking a warm ofuro or bath, could help keep the skin moisturized.

    So, anthropologically, where does that place the Australian culture (which I wonder how much the native culture was considered in these numbers) in relation to keeping healthy or not for a new-found interest in daily bathing?

    Just my two cents,


  8. Waggers

    NOT "THAN"

    "Different than" is NEVER correct English, unless you're looking at a difference between differences ("A and B are more different than B and C") - in which case you're actually using "more than" not "different than". The correct variants "different to" or "different from" which can be used interchangeably.

    Outside the UK, "different to", although totally correct, is very seldom used. So really the only internationally recognised construct is "different from".

    "A is separate/different to/from B" - good.

    "A is separate/different than B" - meaningless.

  9. Richard Russell

    The last of the pedants (I hope)

    I'm afraid neither Jonathan nor myself can read properly. Dr Juan's sentence is perfectly good as it stands.

    Sorry, Waggers, pedantic Brit I may be but "different than" has to be accepted as standard American. I know - it makes me wince, too - but I guess you don't have to go there.

  10. Lee Staniforth

    Last word on 'different then/than'

    (Well, I can hope it's the last word, eh!)

    The way I interpreted the statement 'Standards [...] were different then' was that Stephen was saying 'in the past, standards were different' rather than a qualitative statement. In other words, his original sentence was correct.


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