Influence of the Thermal Environment of a Bathroom After Renovation on Blood Pressure of Residents
Many Japanese people are dissatisfied with the coldness of dressing rooms and bathrooms. It is well known that accidents due to changes in blood pressure during bathing may lead to casualties, particularly in elderly people. However, measurements of blood pressure changes along with evaluation of the thermal environment in residential buildings are very limited. This study aimed to survey the influence that the thermal renovation of the dressing rooms and bathrooms has on the health of elderly residents during winter in residential buildings in Hokkaido, a cold northern region in Japan. Three detached residences built before the 1990s, whose residents were over 60 years of age, were renovated. Bath units were replaced, or additional thermal insulation was added to the openings and floor of the dressing rooms and bathrooms. Before and after the renovation, the thermal environment around the bathroom was evaluated and the blood pressure of residents during bathing was measured. From undressing in the dressing room until dressing after bathing, blood pressure was measured sequentially by the residents themselves using a handy-type hemadynamometer. After renovation, the increase in the highest systolic blood pressure during undressing time and the range of the blood pressure change during the whole bathing process were lower than those before renovation. Systolic blood pressure decreased with the increase in dressing room temperature. Correlation analysis showed that systolic blood pressure decreased up to 20 mmHg when the dressing room temperature increased by 10 °C.
KeywordsBathing Renovation Thermal environment Blood pressure Elderly
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