School sport: Study suggests most pupils never shower after PE

The BBC is reporting a study that suggests more than half of secondary school boys and two-thirds of girls never shower after PE…

…Nearly four thousand children took part in the study, from eight state secondary schools across Essex, covering urban, rural, affluent and deprived neighbourhoods.

All had hot working showers in male and female changing rooms.

The researchers say children may be holding back in PE lessons – and therefore missing out on the health benefits – because of anxiety about needing a shower.

Those who did not shower were less active, and – among girls – less fit.

Just over one in two boys in the study said they never showered, about one in three said they did occasionally, and one in 10 said they always had a shower after PE.

Two out of three girls said they never took a shower after a PE lesson, and one in four said they did sometimes. About one in 13 said they always showered.

Dr Gavin Sandercock, who led the study, said he was surprised at how rare showering had become…

The study did not examine the reasons behind these decisions. Nor did it establish whether those who did not shower were unwilling to exert themselves during PE.

But the researchers say concerns over showering are “a potential barrier to intense, fitness-promoting exercise”…

More at: School sport: Study suggests most pupils never shower after PE


Interesting figures but your thoughts on what, if anything, can be done to change things? Any innovations that have got teenagers happier and more likely to shower after PE (and presumably therefore more likely to exert themselves during the lessons)? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. 5N_Afzal

    One thing which may be a factor is time. Showering time isn’t built into the timetable. I know from my children that they have to really hurry up to get changed quickly so they aren’t late for the next lesson. If they were to shower then either the PE lesson will be short or the following lesson.

  2. JasonGood

    Ian_C_Thomas says a lot about body image and fear of bullying IMO. School showers were a place of horror in my day!

  3. JasonGood

    Ian_C_Thomas ahappyhippy you can choose from “great minds think alike” and “fools seldom differ”.
    Please choose kindly!

  4. HughdjNicklin

    SchoolsImprove I expect that any teacher who supervised showers these days would be accused of improper conduct.

  5. TW

    Not everyone has skin texture that completely dries the moment they step out of the shower.  Some people need a lot more drying time than the 2 and a bit minutes that may be allowed.

  6. FionaTipper

    SchoolsImprove we do sport for the afternoons and students shower when they get home. Report does not consider time of day of lessons

  7. Janet2

    Communal showers – sometimes grubby.  Don’t blame the kids for avoiding them.  And that’s without the snide remarks about body hair, size, shape etc.

  8. GinGoneGilly_

    FarringdonMouse SchoolsImprove We used to shower after every PE lesson, but I am very old. Mind you, we hated it.

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