I have blogged about showers and adolescents before but never spammed you with a series of pie charts, an omission for which I profusely apologise… So now to right that wrong. The following data was collected from 370 adolescents across four London secondary schools in Year groups 7-12. The data was collected between February 2015 and April 2016. Most of the students were in year groups, 7, 8 and 10 so aged 11-15. Not all the pupils filled in all the questions.


We asked them how often they were in the shower…

And how long they were in the shower …


A few of the findings

  • 21% of them had more than one shower a day and there were not a lot of short showers.
  • 38% of our adolescents were in the shower for less than ten minutes. By comparison, research by the energy savings trust of over 10,000 adults showed 68% of adults in the UK self-report a shower of less than ten minutes.
  • As the showers get longer the difference in adolescents v adults start to appear…30% of adolescents take a shower that is longer than 20 minutes and within that number there are some seriously long showerers. As we will see later.


Then we asked them whether they would be prepared to meet certain targets with regards to showering shorter. They were:

  • Would you be prepared to shower for a shorter time?
  • Would you be prepared to turn the shower on and off while you are under it?


There was a pretty similar responses to both those questions with the emphasis on No! There was an even more emphatic ‘No’ to meeting the four minute shower challenge.

I took quite a lot of solace from the 67% who said yes, or maybe to turning the shower on and off while under it and would like to see some messages from the water companies relating to this.


We also asked if there was anything that would persuade them to shower shorter. There were no categories to choose from. They could answer whatever they wanted and we then divided them up into post questionnaire categories. 117 pupils answered this question. The results were interesting and hopeful. We talked to these students about the impact their showering habits have on the polar ice cap and on the polar bears (our very own version of gudge theory!). And, armed with this knowledge, 22% said that environmental impacts would make them change their showering habits. They were also big on rewards or bribery, and pressure from parents or other household members was also a big driver.

And here are some of the things they said about showering


Good global citizens




Some hope


The lost causes



Out of the box thinking


Clarence the crab showed Frankie the flamingo some of the shower statistics he had just collected from a large number of adolescents. Frankie couldn’t imagine what it must be like to spend so much time in the shower and suddenly felt a bit faint and had to sit down.


The other rather cool thing we did with a load of adolescents was to ask them to come up with designs to get their classmates to shower shorter. Check out all their fabulous designs in the links below.


Designs to shower shorter 1

Designs to shower shorter 2

Designs to shower shorter 3




July 2022 – showers and adolescents, in their own words