Sauna Science: At What Temperature Do Germs Die?
Stretching into the most northern reaches of the European continent, Finland lies at the heart of worldwide sauna research. Sauna bathing has been embedded in the Finnish culture and has proven its health benefits in the scientific community. In our current climate of concern over the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), it should be noted that Finnish researchers have discussed the powerful disinfecting nature of traditional dry or Finnish saunas.
Dry saunas range in temperature from 176°F to 212°F with a humidity less than 20%. This dry, oppressive environment is inhospitable for nearly all bacteria and viruses which thrive under cooler, more moist ecosystems. Infrared saunas are too cool (<130°F0) and steam rooms are equally cool and infinitely wet by comparison. Therefore, sauna bathing could prove to be one of the cleanest spaces during an outbreak of a contagious illness.
A whirlwind of scientific data backs the variety of other health benefits that stem from regular sauna usage. It holds particular power in the matter of illnesses that come naturally during the aging process; such as Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease. Sauna bathing’s ability to conquer some of these illnesses is due to the ability it has to stimulate the same response as moderate to vigorous exercise. Additionally, sauna bathing can strengthen the body’s red blood cells which boosts the immune system’s ability to fight oncoming infection.
Inside and out, sauna bathing is a safe and effective way to stem the tide of viral infection. Most medical research has proven that sauna bathing has a dose dependent response to its health benefits. This means that more frequent sauna users experienced better results, and reduced health risks even more than their counterparts who used a sauna less often. Utilizing a local sauna or purchasing one for your own home, might be the best investment in your health you could possibly make.