Despite the age old myth that women take ages in the shower, new research shows on average women spend just 39 seconds longer in the shower than men.
The vast majority of women (71%) take showers of 10 minutes or less; and a quarter of women (26%) manage to take showers of 5 minutes or less. This is only slightly below the number of men who do so (75% and 30% respectively).
The figures are unveiled today by Shower power, a campaign being spearheaded by Kriss Akabusi, multi-medal-winnning former British Olympic and World champion runner, on behalf of 12 UK water companies, which is aiming to encourage people to check the time they spend in the shower.
The shower is a big contributor to a homes CO¬2 emissions and a big user of water: personal washing accounts for around 33% of the water used in the home. The amount of water we each use daily at home - about 150 litres - is unsustainable and hot water is the second largest consumer of energy in the home after space heating, said Jacob Tompkins, Managing Director of Waterwise, the leading water efficiency authority in the UK.
Spending less time in the shower will use less water and less energy, therefore saving money on energy and metered water bills. A shorter shower will also reduce a persons carbon footprint, which helps prevent global warming, he said.
Kriss Akabusi added: While, like me, a great many people take 5 minutes or less to shower I was amazed to discover the worrying number who think nothing of taking anything between 15 and 30 minutes. Surely theyve got better things to do with their time!
With a typical electric shower using around 6 litres of water a minute, people who shower for a long time are using as much water as a bath (typically 80 litres a fill) or in some cases more.
However, the good news from the research is that most people dont actually take as long in the shower as their peers believe. Asked how long they thought people spent in the shower, men in particular overestimated how long women spend in the shower, but women did too. While the average shower time for women is 10 mins 40 secs, men estimate that it is 14 mins 59 secs and women estimate that it is 12 mins 14 secs.
The underlying message is that people actually dont shower for as long as their peers believe, which is good news, said Kriss. Hopefully those who are taking longer will think about how they might take less time. Im getting involved to raise awareness of how easy it is to use less water and still enjoy a shower.
The campaign is also backed by Government minister Huw Irranca-Davies MP, Minister for the Natural and Marine Environment, who said: I am delighted to support this campaign, which shows there are simple things we can all do which save water and energy that will help us in the battle against climate change.
Other key points from the research reveal:
Time spent in the shower decreases with increasing age. On average, people aged 55 or over (mean shower time: 8 mins, 41 secs) are 5 minutes faster than people aged 18 to 24 (mean shower time: 13 mins 26 secs).
Well over a third (39%) of people aged 55 or over even manage to shower in five minutes or less.
Nevertheless, the younger age groups are doing their bit too, with more than half (53%) of 18-24 year olds taking 10 minutes or less in the shower.