Korean J Fam Med.  2020 Sep;41(5):312-317. 10.4082/kjfm.18.0160.

Repeated Dry Sauna Therapy Improves Quality of Life in Obese Korean People

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Kangwon National University School of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea
  • 2College of Forest and Environmental Sciences, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Korea
  • 3Neuropsychopharmacology and Toxicology Program, College of Pharmacy, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Korea


Dry sauna treatments improve the quality of life for chronic pain, congestive heart failure, and type 2 diabetes patients. This study aimed to determine whether dry sauna therapy improved the quality of life of obese people.
A total of 38 consecutive participants aged over 20 years with a body mass index of ≥25 kg/m2 were recruited for the study. The participants were treated with a 90°C dry sauna for 15 minutes, twice daily for 4 consecutive days. To assess the quality of life, all participants completed the 5 level EQ-5D questionnaires and the EQ-Visual Analog Scale. Study parameters were measured on the same day prior to commencing the sauna sessions in a fasted state and 2 days after the last sauna session.
The average age was 62.3±9.5 years; 84.2% of the participants were female. The mean body mass index was 28.5±2.4 kg/m2. Dry sauna significantly improved the mean 5 level EQ-5D index scores from 0.83±0.12 to 0.89±0.11 and increased the mean EQ-Visual Analog Scale from 79.0±15.2 to 91.1±9.7. However, there were no significant changes in body mass index, blood pressure, heart rate, or body composition before and after the 8-session sauna therapy.
Dry sauna improved the health-related quality of life of obese patients without adverse events. Further clinical studies in larger study populations are needed to verify these findings and provide concrete evidence for obesity treatment.


Sauna; Quality of Life; Obesity; Infrared Rays; Korea
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