22 Mar 2023 World leisure: news, training & property
Sign up for FREE ezine

Spa Business
2015 issue 2

View issue contents

Leisure Management - Heart warming


Heart warming

New research shows that having a sauna can aid cardiovascular health – and the more frequent and longer the sessions the better. Helen Andrews reports

Helen Andrews
Men who went for a sauna four to seven times a week were 63 per cent less likely to die from heart complications Robert Kneschke/shutterstock.com

The therapeutic benefits of having a sauna have been proven in a new study* published in February.

Researchers from Finland, where there’s a strong tradition for saunas, found that middle-aged men who have frequent sessions in the heat experience are significantly less likely to die from heart disease, than those who don’t. In fact, the men who visited a sauna the most, even as much as once a day, experienced the greatest benefits.

Regular benefits
A total of 2,315 men aged 42-60 from eastern Finland were monitored over 21 years. During the follow-up period, the scientists recorded 190 sudden cardiac deaths, 281 fatal causes of coronary heart disease, 407 deaths from cardiovascular disease and 929 deaths from all causes. 

Those who used saunas regularly, however, seem to have been protected from heart complications. The risk of sudden cardiac death was found to be 22 per cent lower for men who went to a sauna two or three times per week and 63 per cent lower for those visiting four to seven times a week. 

Coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease death rates were similarly cut by spending time in saunas. 

Time well spent
Participants benefited if they spent longer in the sauna. Those whose sessions lasted 11-19 minutes were 7 per cent less likely to suffer a sudden cardiac death compared to those who spent less than 11 minutes in the sauna. Men who spent longer than 19 minutes in the heat were associated with a 52 per cent reduced risk. 

Dr Rita Redberg, editor of JAMA Internal Medicine and a scientist at the University of California commented: “Although we do not know why the men who went to saunas more frequently had greater longevity – whether it’s the time spent in the hot room, the relaxation time, the leisure of a life that allows for more relaxation time, or the camaraderie of the sauna – clearly time spent in the sauna is time well spent.”

Helen Andrews is a Spa Business news journalist

Tel: 44 1462 471902
Email: helenandrews@spabusiness.com
Twitter: HelenAndrewsSB

Originally published in Spa Business 2015 issue 2

Published by Leisure Media Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | © Cybertrek Ltd