Korean Sauna (Jjimjilbang) Wellness Tourism as Perceived by Westerners Living in South Korea
Ph.D. Candidate D. Kessler, Professor K.J. Chung, Professor B.J. Jang

In this paper, we examined attitudes of westerners living in South Korea regarding Korean saunas (jjimjilbangs). We surveyed (n=225) westerners living in South Korea who have visited a Korean sauna at least once during their stay. The purpose of our research was to measure subjective attitudes, frequency, and motivation towards sauna usage along with their self-reported health evaluations and basic demographic variables. We hypothesized there would be a positive correlation between the respondent's self-reported health evaluations and the frequency of usage of the spa. Additionally, we hypothesized that there would be a positive correlation between the length of time living in South Korea and the frequency of spa usage. Using the SF-36 to measure self-reported health characteristics, results of our statistical analysis indicate a Pearson Correlation of .428 between the frequency of spa usage and SF-36 respondents scores. Moreover, we found no correlation in the length of staying in Korea and frequency of spa usage. Findings from this research are consistent with the findings from our literature review of the general health benefits of saunas.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jthm.v6n2a8