A relaxing bath: Men relax, women are active

Current GfK study “How do Germans take a bath?”

Frankfurt/Main, 14 June 2013 - As in many areas of life, men and women also show different behaviour when taking a bath. While 41 per cent of men relax in the bath by doing nothing, 82 per cent of women use the time in the tub for beauty rituals and other activities. Listening to music is popular with both sexes.

There is nothing better than relaxing in a nice hot bath after a stressful day. The Blue Responsibility Initiative, an association of 24 leading bathroom manufacturers, wanted to know more details and commissioned a GfK study with the title “How and why do Germans take a bath?”. The result: Taking a bath is a matter of personal taste. Many use the time out in the tub to relax, but in different ways. 43.1 per cent of all women in the study follow beauty rituals such as shaving or a pedicure while having a bath, closely followed by reading (42.1 %). More than one in ten women (12.8 %) cannot do without their mobile phone even in the bath and use the time to make calls or send text messages. Nearly one in ten women also take food or drink into the bathroom (9.8 %).

Men are less willing to multitask: 41.2 per cent of those questioned said they just relax. Only a quarter of men like to read (24.5 %), mobile phones as well as food and drink are not wanted by the majority of men (4.7 % use a phone, 2.9 % eat or drink). Listening to music on the other hand is popular with both sexes: 32.6 per cent of men and 48.2 per cent of women relax with music.

Civil servants read, apprentices like beauty rituals
The favourite pastime of Germans does not only differ between the sexes: Profession, household income and postcode are also important factors. Civil servants for example like to read in the bath. Almost half (45.9 %) of this group enjoy a good book, a newspaper or a magazine. Apprentices, labourers and clerical staff mainly listen to music. Apprentices, however, often combine beauty rituals with bathing (44.1 %). While people with a monthly household income of at least 3,000 EUR focus mainly on relaxing (66.5 %), those with a household income of less than 1,000 EUR use bathtime for e.g. beauty rituals (49.1 %) or reading (30.7 %). People from the state of Schleswig-Holstein are particularly relaxed: 42 per cent enjoy just doing nothing. People from the state of Saxony are the most active, as only 11.4 per cent enjoy just the bathing experience itself.

Relaxing alone or together
There was also a clear favourite when asked about the motivation for having a bath: 85.2 per cent of those questioned stated relaxing as the main reason. This aspect is particularly important to people in large households. 93.7 per cent of those living in households with four or more members use a hot bath as a time-out from busy family life. In single-person households it is only 76.3 per cent.

Enjoying a bath together is particularly popular among young people: Almost a quarter (23.4 %) of those aged 18 to 29 like to get in the tub together. There are also regional differences: While 24.9 per cent of people from Saxony enjoy a bath for two, only 9.3 of those from North Rhine-Westphalia do.

Bathing with a good conscience
Germany is one of the pioneers when it comes to sustainability. That is why many users have doubts about running a full bath. But there is no need to feel bad about enjoying a bath. With 121 litres of average water consumption per head and day, Germany is already at the top of the water saving nations and also uses only 17 per cent of its water reserves. “Sustainability has many facets and is not only about saving water,” explains Wolfgang Burchard, spokesman for the sustainability initiative Blue Responsibility. “Environmentally friendly production processes, durable products and social aspects play an important role. Bathrooms are increasingly becoming places of relaxation for body and mind. This health aspect is part of the scale of sustainability,” says Wolfgang Burchard. The German sanitaryware industry is committed to sustainability in many regards.

More information at www.blue-responsibility.net and www.bewegung-im-bad.net.