[Survey] Are You Guilty of These Weird and Unhealthy Bathroom Habits?

01 Mar, 2021

Male sitting on the toilet looking at his cell phone

People have lots of different bathroom and toilet habits. Some bathroom habits were ingrained into people as children by their parents or caretakers. Most times, bathroom habits are no different from other habits — people do them subconsciously. Regardless of how you came about your potty preferences, some are undoubtedly much stranger than others, while others are straight up unhealthy and should consciously be changed. 

To see how people’s bathroom habits differ between genders and generations, we were interested in how people would respond to these questions:

  1. Have you ever participated in a school or work-related phone or video call while on the toilet?
  2. Do you put the toilet seat down before flushing?
  3. At home, how much time do you spend on the toilet when going number two?

Using SurveyMonkey, we surveyed 341 people to see what’s under their toilet lid and to get an accurate representation and understanding of American’s bathroom habits.

Takeaways below...

Graphic chart displaying data on how much time people spend going number two

1. Men Doo Spend More Time on the Toilet

You guessed it, men do in fact spend longer on the toilet going number two than women. 

When looking at which gender poops most efficiently, 44% of women get their shit done in two to five minutes. Nearly half of men (46%) say they take 6–10 minutes to chop a log. Another way to interpret the data is that 56% of women take six minutes or longer to get their crap out while it takes 80% of men to do the same. Well, it’s settled — women get their shit done faster.

Why Men Commandeer the Commode

It is not conclusively proven why men take longer pinching a loaf. Perhaps they have poophoria, and we do know that men feel more comfortable pooping in their partner’s home. However, some researchers believe there is a psychological reason why men take longer in the bathroom. 

According to psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert, men perceive the bathroom as a place to get away from the scuttle of a busy home. For many men, the bathroom, “may serve as their sanctuary.” Some of Alpert’s clients have even admitted to him that the bathroom, “allows for the perfect escape from parenting duties.” The bathroom is a weird place to escape to, but think about it, how often does someone bother you while you’re on the toilet?

Just remember, if your man is on the toilet, maybe he simply needs a moment to himself. 

2. The Generational Crap Gap

A graphic chart displaying data for how much time different generations spend going number two

Looking across generations, it’s pretty evident that the younger someone is, the more likely they will take longer on the toilet. Perhaps, the older generation knows the significance of time and cherishes it more. Or they’re too darn old to waste time wasting.

Regardless of the reason, 43% of people ages 18–44 spend 6–10 minutes on the toilet pooping compared to 35% for those 45+. Looking at a longer time range for dropping a deuce, 23% of 18–29-years-olds take 11–15 minutes on the toilet. Only 11% of those over 60 take the same amount of time. 

3. 5% of Americans Spend At Least 117 Hours Pooping Each Year

We found that 5% of Americans take 21 minutes or longer pooping on the toilet. Let’s put this data into perspective. Maybe the five-percenters who take 21 minutes to poop get everything out all at once. Let’s assume the best. If someone poops once a day for a minimum of 21 minutes that equals out to the following:

  • 147 minutes on the toilet per week
  • 9 hours and 48 minutes on the toilet per month
  • 117.6 hours on the toilet per year
  • If someone lives to the age of 79 (average age of death in the U.S.) then they would have spent over a year on the toilet (387 days).
  • Continuing with death at the age of 79, someone would have lived 1.34% of their life on the toilet.

4. Americans Are Defecating Digitally 

Well, never have you felt more that a meeting could have been an email than when you take your digital device with you to go the bathroom while on a work call.

A graphic chart displaying data for how many Americans take work calls from the toilet

With the ongoing pandemic, and many professionals continuing to work from home, it’s not easy balancing all your crap — especially when bowel movements hit. Due to more people working from home, there seems more of an inclination to take work-related calls while in the bathroom. Inc. ran a similar study in 2017 and found that 25% of employees take calls while on the toilet. Our study found that 40% have taken business calls while using the bathroom. By comparing the two studies, it seems that during the COVID-19 pandemic, people are more willing to not listen to their workplace’s crap and take their own crap. 

A graphic chart displaying percentage of age groups that take work or school-related phone calls on the toilet

Which Age Group is Talking Crap?

Looking at those who have at least once participated in a school or work-related phone or video call on the toilet, those 18–29 outpace the rest. The older someone is, the less likely they have taken a work or school-related call on the toilet. 

If you do take a conference call on the crapper, just make sure you’re on mute and your video is off. Double check if you’re going number two.

5. 40% of Americans Don’t Put the Toilet Seat Down Before Flushing

A graphic illustration displaying that 40% of Americans don't put the toilet seat down before flushing

Well, at least over half of Americans, 60%, are practicing the healthy habit of putting the toilet seat down before flushing. The other 40% should get in the habit of doing the same. According to one study from 2011, lidless toilets increase the risk of the bacteria C. difficile in the bathroom area.

The study found that when toilets were flushed without the toilet seat down, “C. difficile was recoverable from air sampled at heights up to 25 cm (~10 inches) above the toilet seat.” The mean number of droplets emitted by flushing lidless toilets were 15–47 depending on toilet design.

Do note that the amount of airborne C. difficile does decrease over time. At 90 minutes, there was an 11-fold drop in C. difficile particles compared to immediate measurements taken after flushing.

So, which generation is spreading C. difficile?

A graphic chart displaying percentages of age groups that put the toilet seat down before flushing 

Surprisingly, the bookend generations put the toilet lid down more often before flushing. 18–29  year-olds put the seat down the most with 66% of them doing so while 62% of those over 60 also elect to close the lid before flushing. People 30–60 need to pay attention to their elders and those behind them. Only 47% of 30–60 year-olds put the toilet down before flushing. Sometimes wisdom (and apparently hygiene) skips a generation.

There you have it, folks, men are indeed living up to their stereotype of taking longer in the bathroom, and the younger generation is talking sh*t by taking work or school-related calls on the toilet. Most surprisingly, some people spend over 117 hours on the toilet per year. 

If you or your partner are retreating to the bathroom for sanctuary, consider treating yourselves to the TUSHY ottoman to help prevent your legs from falling asleep during those extended poo sessions. If you’re ready to upgrade to a total sanctuary, take a look at the TUSHY system.

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