Water and recreation

Gruiz Katalin

Recreational use of water can deliver important benefits to health and well-being. Yet, there may also be adverse health effects associated with recreational use if the water is polluted or unsafe.

WHO produces international norms on recreational water use and health in the form of Guidelines. The first edition of WHO's Guidelines for Safe Recreational Water Environments consists of two volumes. Volume 1: Coastal and Freshwaters, and Volume 2:Swimming Pools and Similar Recreational Environments. Both volumes, and the 2009 update of VOlume 1 can be accessed through the links below.

Water monitoring all over the world ensures the safe use of waters for bathing and recreational purposes.

The hazards related to bathing and recreation due to water contamination is summarized in the following document:

In addition to bathing several sport are related to water, both in the water, on the surface of the water and under the water.

In water sports:

  • Swimming, including pool swimming and open water swimming
  • Diving off springboards or off platforms
  • Modern pentathlon includes épée fencing, pistol shooting, swimming, a show jumping course on horseback, and cross country running
  • Rescue swimming is swimming with the goal to rescue other swimmers or the practice thereof.
  • Snorkeling is the practice of swimming at the surface (typically of the sea) being equipped with a mask, fins, and a short tube called a snorkel.
  • Synchronized diving
  • Synchronized swimming is a hybrid of swimming, gymnastics, and ballet.
  • Triathlon, a multi-sport event involving the completion of three continuous and sequential endurance events, usually a combination of swimming, cycling and running
  • Waboba is played with a waboba ball on beaches or in pools.
  • Water aerobics is aerobics in the water.
  • Water polo is a team sport played in water.

Sports made on the surface of the water:

  • Barefoot skiing is waterskiing with no skis
  • Boating is the use of boats
  • Bodyboarding is similar to surfing, but the board is smaller and the person (normally) lies down on the board
  • Canoeing
  • Fishing is the recreation and sport of catching fish
  • Flowboarding
  • Jet Skiing
  • Kayaking
  • Kiteboating
  • Kitesurfing on flat water using a kite for propulsion
  • Parasailing where a person is towed behind a vehicle (usually a boat) while attached to a parachute
  • Rafting
  • Rowing
  • Sailing using the wind for propulsion
  • Sit-down hydrofoiling is riding on the water with a hydrofoil attached to a ski
  • Skimboarding is a boardsport in which a board is used to ride on an incoming wave
  • Skurfing is where the participant "skurfs" behind a boat on a surfboard
  • Stand up paddle surfing a surf style board with a paddle, used in flatwater or waves
  • Surfing downhill on ocean waves or artificial waves in a wave pool
  • Wakeboarding is similar to water skiing, but using only one board attached to the feet
  • Wakeskating is similar to wakeboarding, but the board is not attached to the feet
  • Wakesurfing is a mix between wakeboarding and surfing
  • Waterskiing is using skis to slide over the water while being pulled by a boat or other device
  • White water rafting
  • Windsurfing on flat water using wind for propulsion in combination with sails
  • Yachting sailing on yachts, daysailing, cruising or Yacht racing

Under water sport, combined by diving

  • Underwater hockey is hockey played under water with short wooden curved sticks and a heavy puck.Players wear diving masks, snorkels, and fins, and must surface to breathe while team mates continue the game on the pool bottom.
  • Underwater photography, including underwater videography, is photography done under water. Numerous contests worldwide are arranged every year. Digital cameras have revolutionized how many divers participate.
  • Underwater rugby is rugby played under water. Two teams try to score goals by sending a slightly negatively buoyant ball into the opponents' goal, which is situated on the bottom of the pool.