The hot tub is an ideal place for some much-needed rest and relaxation at the end of a long day. But sitting in a sizzling tub for hours on end may not be the best option. So, how long is it safe to stay in a hot tub?
The average healthy adult should generally limit their time in a hot tub to about 30 minutes. However, how long an individual can safely remain in a hot tub depends on several factors, including their health, the water temperature, the weather, and their age.
Understanding the risks of staying too long in a hot tub will help you better monitor your use and stay healthy as you enjoy the water. Let’s take a closer look at the factors that influence how long you can stay in a hot tub and the risks that come with soaking for too long.
How Long Can You Stay in a Hot Tub?
Whether you’re using a hot tub at home, at a friend’s, or at your local health club, it’s essential to limit the length of your stay in the hot water. The recommended soaking limit for a hot tub is between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on several factors.
That said, it’s generally considered safe to extend your hot tub time to 45 minutes if you’re in good health and the internal and external temperature of the air and water isn’t too hot.
Furthermore, extending your hot tub time is considered safe if you remove yourself from the hot tub after 15 or 30 minutes and allow your body to cool down.
Those who are new to hot tubs or who don’t use them very often should stick to shorter sessions. As they get accustomed to hot tub use, they can extend their sessions accordingly.
Hot tubs can offer immense hydrotherapy and wellness benefits such as relaxation and ease of muscle tension. However, overusing a hot tub can negatively impact your health, so you’ve got to be careful and always maintain a balance.
Important Factors to Consider
There are several important factors to consider before you jump in the hot tub for a soak:
Age is an important factor influencing how long it’s safe to stay in the tub. For example, The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals advises that children aged 12 and below should not exceed 5 minutes of hot tub use when the temperature is at 104 degrees Fahrenheit (the highest possible hot tub temperature).
Children are more vulnerable to dizziness if they experience heat for too long. If the temperature is lower, a soak of up to 15 minutes is considered safe.
Health and Pregnancy
Adults who are healthy and aren’t pregnant should be able to soak at about 102 degrees Fahrenheit without experiencing any negative side effects — as long as they feel safe doing so.
However, pregnant women should chat with their doctor before routinely utilizing a hot tub to evaluate any personal circumstances or dangers and ensure their optimum health and safety. Typically, it’s recommended that pregnant women avoid spending more than 10 minutes in a hot tub to prevent risks to the baby’s development.
Regarding other health concerns, adults should inform and discuss the use of a hot tub with their doctors to ensure they follow the safety guidelines. Anyone using medications and those with high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes should consult their doctor before hot tub use.
The air temperature outside the hot tub can also affect how long it’s safe to bathe. If the outdoor temperature is cool, you’ll remain cooler for longer. If the air temperature is very hot, however, you might overheat much more quickly.
Furthermore, should you sit fully immersed in the hot tub, you’ll find that your core temperature rises a lot quicker, meaning you should spend less time in the hot tub. If you decide to sit at the lowest level and fully immerse yourself, 15 minutes is considered a safe time to use the hot tub.
If you sit at the highest level with your torso out, you can stay cooler for longer. Therefore, extending your hot tub time to 30 minutes is safe.
Due to the extreme temperatures of hot tubs, they can result in rapid dehydration. Dehydration can cause adverse side effects such as dizziness, fainting, and vomiting.
When using a hot tub, it’s therefore highly advised to stay hydrated. You should have water on hand to maintain a healthy and safe hydration level.
What Are the Risks of Staying in a Hot Tub Too Long?
There are several risks of staying in a hot tub for too long. Overusing a hot tub can result in:
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Nausea and vomiting
- A reduced blood pressure
- Burns on the skin
Should you feel dizzy or lightheaded, slowly remove yourself from the hot tub. Make sure to hold on to the railing or the side of the tub, and climb out slowly to avoid worsening the symptoms and maintain your safety. Lie down for 15 minutes until the feeling subsides.
If the feeling doesn’t subside, remain hydrated and contact your doctor for advice on how to proceed. Avoid using a hot tub until you’re feeling well again.
The symptoms of overheating can take a while to notice. You should be aware that tingling of the skin, fatigue, weakness, sweating, and headaches are all signs that you could be overheating. If you notice these symptoms, remove yourself from the hot tub, drink plenty of water, and cool down before moving.
These symptoms could also indicate that your blood pressure has dropped. With low blood pressure, you might also experience blurred vision and fainting. These symptoms should not be ignored; if they occur, you should get out of the hot tub immediately.
Extended use of a hot tub or water that is too hot could burn the skin. If your skin starts to redden and burn, take a break from the heat and allow your skin to cool down. If your skin becomes sore or tender to the touch, avoid using a hot tub until you feel better.
To maximize your safety, avoid drinking alcohol and using electronic devices during hot tub use.
Is It Okay to Use a Hot Tub Every Day?
Although you should avoid using hot tubs for extended periods, it is considered safe to use them daily. Following the safety guidelines will help you you maintain good health while enjoying the benefits of hot tub use.
Proper use and installation of a hot tub are key to attaining the health benefits and avoiding putting your health at risk. If you don’t experience any health issues, you can continue your hot tub use as often as you wish, as long as you limit each soak appropriately, maintain a reasonable temperature, and stay hydrated.