How Long Can You Stay In A Hot Tub?
On average, a healthy, non-pregnant adult may stay in the hot tub for up to 45 minutes or longer without taking a break.
But it differs depending on a number of factors.
While spending time hanging out in the hot tub has many proven benefits, there are limits to which those benefits become harmful and potentially dangerous. While there aren't any strict rules about how long you should spend in your hot tub, there are recommended times and factors that depend on the person.
So, how long should you soak in your hot tub?
I will be going over a number of factors in my article below.
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Considerations to Make When Using a Hot Tub
Keeping these considerations in mind before getting into hot tubs is incredibly important if you want to have the best experience possible. These considerations will also give you an idea as to how long you can stay in a hot tub without feeling adverse effects.
Hot Tub Temperature
One of the biggest considerations to make when figuring out how long you should soak in a hot tub is the temperature. If you decide to sit in a water temperature that is around 98 degrees Fahrenheit, it isn't going to affect you as much. The average body temperature is 98 degrees, meaning water temperature at that level will sit in equilibrium with your body. However, if you start raising the temperature by a few degrees, you will notice the effects.
Our bodies perspire in order to release heat. When temperatures outside your body are 100 degrees or above, your body's ability to perspire requires a lot more work. If it can't perspire, the heat will become trapped inside the body and raise your body temperature. In a short amount of time, dehydration will set in.
One of the best ways to avoid dehydration and overheating while in the hot tub is by keeping a bottle of water with you whenever you are soaking.
Your hot tub temperature should ideally sit between 100-102 degrees. With that temperature, you should keep your average soaking time to about 20 minutes to minimize health risks. It is important to listen to your body as well.
One of the other very important factors to consider when deciding on the amount of time you should stay in a hot tub is your health. If you are pregnant, for example, you should always refrain from using your hot tub if it exceeds 102 degrees. Regardless of the temperature, you should never exceed 15 minutes.
For people with certain health issues, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, circulatory problems, or diabetes, it is important to speak to your healthcare provider before going into the hot tub at all. If you take medications that give you symptoms such as drowsiness, you need to make sure that it is safe to enter the hot tub and be aware of the dangers if you do.
Age is another one of the crucial factors to consider when deciding how long you can safely spend in your hot tub. As long as you feel comfortable and listen to your body when you spend time in the hot tub, you should be fine as a healthy, non-pregnant adult. At 102 degrees, you can enjoy a nice spa soak for up to 30 minutes without overheating.
However, there are different rules for children. Children any age under 12, according to the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, should avoid hot tub soaks longer than 12 minutes if the water temperature is 104 degrees. If the water temperature is under 104 degrees, however, soaking up to 15 minutes is fine.
Hot tub experts recommend that people have jump seats or high seats that can help children avoid full-body immersion. Having seats that keep your children out of the water could keep them from potential harm and allow them to soak longer.
Speaking of jump seats, you should also consider where you are sitting in your hot tub. Your core body temperature will remain really hot if you are fully immersed in the water compared to if you move to a higher seat where the upper half of your body is sitting outside of the water.
We highly recommend moving around within the hot tub to keep yourself safe from overheating.
Symptoms That you Have Been In The Hot Tub For Too Long
Dizziness and Light-Headedness
If you begin to feel dizziness while you are using a hot tub, it is likely that you have been in the hot tub for too long. At this point, it is a good idea to get outside of the hot tub and cool down for a bit before getting back in.
You may not even know that your body is starting to overheat when you are in the hot tub until you begin to feel physically sick and need help. Luckily, there are certain signs that people can look for to avoid it altogether. If your body is starting to overheat, you may notice some of these signs:
Make sure to get out of your hot tub immediately if you notice any of these symptoms and relocate yourself to a cool area. Drink water to help your body cool down and call 911 for help if symptoms persist.
If you notice that your skin is getting red, it could just mean that you have sensitive skin. However, in many cases, it is a sign that you should step out of the hot tub for a bit. Some people deal with heat rashes when they are soaking in a hot tub, though make sure to listen to your body. You will know if you have been in the hot tub for too long.
Nausea, which can lead to vomiting if not addressed, is a sign that your body is trying to deal with intense heat. It could also be a sign that your body is dealing with heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
Regardless, if you begin to feel nauseous while in the hot tub, you should remove yourself immediately and drink some cool water.
Blood Pressure Drop
Unless you are a person who constantly wears a blood pressure monitor to ensure you stay in a safe range, it may be difficult to know if your blood pressure is dropping when you are in the hot tub. Your body often send out warning signals when your blood pressure drops, many of which are the same as when your body begins to overheat.
Some of these symptoms include:
- Blurred Vision
You may also experience a number of other hypotension warning signs, including rapid pulse, weak pulse, shallow breathing, or confusion. It is important to get out of the hot tub if you get any of these symptoms during your soak.
Final Thoughts - How Long Should You Soak In A Hot Tub?
As we said before, there aren't any one-size-fits-all rules when it comes to how long one can safely soak. If you are an adult in good health who has spent more than 30 minutes in a hot tub without feeling any negative effects, you might be one of the people that have the ability to soak for a long time until you decide that you're ready to get out.
Of course, that doesn't mean that you should approach hot tubs with a safe mindset and keep the best practices in mind. If you are an adult in good health, we still recommend that you never sit in hot tubs for longer than 45 minutes without taking a break. You must consider a few factors as well, including your health on a particular day, whether it is really cold outside or not, and how hot the hot tub is.
At the end of the day, you need to consider your comfort when you are in the hot tub. If you don't feel any adverse effects, then you are probably fine. However, when you begin to feel any of the adverse effects you read about above, you should step out of the hot tub, get yourself a cold bottle of water, and hang out before entering the hot tub safely at another time.
About The Author
Bobby Gifford // Staff Writer
Bobby Gifford has over 17 years of experience with hot tubs and swimming pools. He has owned one pool and several hot tub brands over the years and has a wide scope of knowledge including buying information, maintenance and industry trends.