Holistic health as an aspect of social sustainability

Frankfurt/Main, 8th June 2013. Bathrooms are increasingly becoming places of relaxation and regeneration. The sensual experience of water and holistic health replaces mere functionality. The high-quality manufacturers from the Blue Responsibility Initiative know how to turn bathrooms into individual retreats.

According to a study by the future institute of Matthias Horx, hardly any other trend is as central to social change as health. Against the background of increasing prosperity and demographic change, the pursuit of health and fitness moves to the forefront of collective attention. The study commissioned by Geberit additionally showed that people who feel balanced and happy also perceive themselves as healthy. Meaning: If it feels good, it will keep you healthy. This places the focus on bathrooms. 80 per cent of all respondents rated personal hygiene as an elementary component of health. Nearly the same number of respondents (70 %) stated that personal hygiene has to be fun. The German brand-name manufacturers have long since adapted to this trend and offer flexible solutions for bringing individuality, comfort and high tech into domestic bathrooms while also meeting the economic, ecological and social requirements of sustainability.

The sensual water experience as a central component
The element of water has always fascinated people. Innovative products and technologies let us experience water in its natural form in our own bathrooms: As drumming rain, a powerful waterfall or a fine mist. The waterfall shower head from the meTime_spa collection, for example, lets users experience the natural power of water. The spray options on the extra large shower heads from Ideal Standard also simulate different experiences of nature such as rain or a downpour. In combination with a spacious level access shower tray, they provide virtually unlimited home spa enjoyment. A new shower from Dornbracht adds even more senses to the shower experience: “Inspired by weather phenomena and nature's moods, Sensory Sky combines rain, mist, light and scents to produce a unique water experience,” explains Bettina Arzt from Dornbracht. In addition to preset choreographies, the shower heads, nozzles, lights and scents can also be controlled independently, taking into account the individual requirements of the user. Special jet hoses, e.g. from Keuco, additionally allow healthy hot and cold hydrotherapy as promoted by Kneipp.

The different functions of water are becoming more and more important in other areas of the bathroom as well. The Geberit shower toilet, for example, promotes gentle cleansing with water. “The comfort toilets from the AquaClean range satisfy the increasing body awareness throughout all generations and the associated wellness applications. Using warm water for cleaning is definitely more hygienic than paper and it provides a comfortable, fresh feeling,” explains Volker Röttger, Marketing Manager at Geberit. And yet, each cleaning cycle uses only 0.5 litre of water at maximum power.

The sound of future in bathrooms
Bathtubs also add to the home spa trend. Kaldewei, for example, have developed a new audio system that uses the tub as a resonator. Audio files can be sent to the system from a smartphone, tablet or computer using the Bluetooth receiver. “With Sound Wave, you can not only listen to your favourite music in the bathroom, you can also gently feel it through the water – a completely new sensation,” adds Marcus Möllers, Public Relations Manager at Kaldewei. A bathtub like this taps right into today's trends. According to a current GfK study commissioned by Blue Responsibility, around 33 per cent of men and 48 per cent of women like to listen to music in the bath.

Immerse yourself and relax
Whirlpool systems, as offered e.g. by Kaldewei, Villeroy & Boch or Ideal Standard, are also becoming more popular. “Our whirlpool tubs don't require any more space than regular tubs,” explains Marcus Möllers. The tubs from the Ideal Standard range can also be equipped with a light system. At the press of a button the water sparkles e.g. in energising pink, relaxing blue or calming purple. “A whirlpool system in the bathtub opens up completely new wellness options at home: You can experience well-being while improving your health. The water gently eases tensions, relaxes the muscles and stimulates metabolism and circulation,” explains Katrin May, PR Manager at Villeroy & Boch.The large selection of comfort products for domestic bathrooms leaves nothing to be desired: Tubs with a central drain and slanted sides on both ends provide comfortable space for two. Floating tubs, e.g. from Kaldewei, offer maximum relaxation. The unique shape and size allow a floating experience as in the ocean, providing deep relaxation for a balanced experience of life.

Small components with great effects
Even small bathrooms can turn into individual sanctuaries. “It doesn't always have to be a whirlpool bath. The right accessories are often enough to jazz up a bathroom,” says Simone Schulte, Managing Director at SAM. Elegant tea lights provide a cosy atmosphere while a high-quality beauty mirror with an integrated LED system is ideal for perfect make-up application. Turn your bathroom into your own private beauty parlour!

Social sustainability for better health
Home spa products supplement sustainability to comprise ecological and economic as well as social aspects. “If I can improve my health by using a certain amount of water, the water will have been used sustainably,” explains Bettina Arzt at Dornbracht. Jörg Loew, member of the board at Burgbad, also sees the focus on the social aspect and on sustainability: “We see sustainability as a solution which will provide returns that are higher than the required investment in the long run. The enjoyment and the well-being of our customers are at the top of our list.” So this is not just about absolute water consumption but rather about the efficiency with which a resource is used. “As long as water as a resource is used consciously and sensibly, this use will be sustainable,” says Wolfgang Burchard, spokesman of the Blue Responsibility Initiative. The German brand-name manufacturers make an important contribution to this – all without compromising on comfort.

Learn more about Blue Responsibility at www.blue-responsibility.com and on the manufacturer's websites www.burgbad.com, www.dornbracht.com, www.geberit.com, www.idealstandard.de, www.kaldewei.de, www.keuco.de, www.sam.de, www.villeroy-boch.com.