Health Digest Survey: How Often Do People Typically Shower?

Before the middle of the 19th century, regular bathing was neither possible nor required for the average person (per Voice of America). Fast forward to the present day, and two-thirds of Americans will tell you that showering is at the top of their to-do list, every day of the week (per Harvard Health). It's done in rote — much like feeding the cat. And while taking a daily shower has become customary for the majority of people in our society, the ritual is more socially normative than it is necessary (per The New York Times). In fact, many experts have made the argument that showering every day can have negative implications for both our health and the environment.

While this suggestion has been met with some resistance, COVID-19 restrictions acted as a catalyst for many to embrace the movement away from daily bathing. In the wake of this evolution, we grew curious about where our readers stand. Health Digest conducted a survey asking respondents how often they hop in the shower and get their suds on, and here's what we learned.

To shower today, or not to shower today?

For 51.6% of voters, a daily shower is still a must. While not quite congruent with Harvard Health's statistics, the everyday bathers are still firmly planted in the majority. Coming in a not-so-close second with 22.4% of the vote are those who say they prefer to shower every other day instead. And while WebMD points out that for many people, showering just a few times a week is not only sufficient — but recommended — just 11.9% of respondents said they were down with that.

Nearly 11% of voters reveal that they shower more than once a day. And while they may be exceptionally clean, NPR explains that bathing more than once a day can quite literally wash the natural oils and "good guy" bacteria — which keep our skin's microbiome healthy and high functioning — right down the drain. With modern society's views of cleanliness being what they are, it's not terribly surprising that just 3.1% of people own up to showing once a week or less, but we'd venture a guess that the hair of those respondents looks downright enviable right now.