Your toilet habits can help determine what is going on inside your body and with Brits spending the equivalent of eight months of their adult life sat on the toilet, it is time to test for bowel cancer at an earlier age
A survey of 2,000 adults found Brits head to the loo twice a day for a number two – and six times for a wee. This amounts to just over 15 minutes a day or almost two hours a week ‘sat on the throne’. But 35% of respondents reckon sitting on the toilet is one of the only occasions they get some time to themselves. It also emerged women are more likely to strike up a conversation in a public loo with a stranger than men are.
Commissioning the research was Simon Bayly for digital DIY bowel cancer test, he commented: “We were surprised at how much time some Brits seem to spend sitting on the loo.
“It’s something we all do, but rarely discuss – yet ‘toilet etiquette’ is a huge part of modern life, whether that’s at home, work or out in public.
“A loo break is a pause from whatever else you might be doing, but it can also be a really good opportunity to get a glimpse at your health. Your toilet habits can tell you a lot about what’s going on inside your body.”
The study also found a fifth of respondents admit they’d feel weird if they were sitting on the toilet without their phone to fiddle with.
And Brits are now more likely to look through their phone or simply sit there and think than read a newspaper, suggesting the classic habit of reading on the loo may be a thing of the past. Almost one in twenty even admitted to talking on the phone while in the bathroom.
But there are some no-nos when it comes to toilet behaviour with 65% of men saying they would find it unacceptable if another man used the urinal right next to them – if there were others free. And the horror scenario of using a public toilet only to discover too late there was no loo roll would see a quarter of Brits ask a stranger to hand them some. But 24% would wait until they thought the coast was clear, before waddling to the next cubicle with their trousers around their ankles.
More than six in 10 adults have also been left embarrassed after entering a bathroom where the previous user left a ghastly smell – only to open the door afterwards and find someone else waiting to go in.
The research, carried out via OnePoll.com for www.measurebowelhealth.com also found six in 10 Brits reckon they can get a good measure of their overall health – by the state of their bowel movements. And one in four admit they always have a peek into the toilet after going for a number two to keep an eye out for any worrying health concerns.
It’s just as well for some though with one in four adults saying they have been greeted by the worrying sight of blood in their stools after using the toilet. But only a quarter of these made an appointment with the doctor straight away – with the majority delaying a medical appointment for as long as possible out of embarrassment.
Instead, if they felt there was something seriously wrong, Brits would wait an agonising eight days to book an appointment with the doctor.
GP and author Dr Ellie Cannon said: “We know early diagnosis for bowel cancer increases survival rates, but many believe this is an ‘older’ person’s disease.
“In fact, bowel cancer* can affect any adult and new research suggests Bowel cancer is on the increase among young people.
Symptoms of bowel cancer*
- Obvious bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
- A change in your bowel habit
- Diarrhoea or constipation lasting for more than 7 days
- Unexplained weight loss
- A pain or lump in your tummy
If you have these symptoms, seek advice from your GP