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Ladies Loo Habits Have Health Implications

Sep 5, 2007
The flushing toilet may have been around for over 400 years but despite all those years of practice, scientists tell us we're still not doing it right. Researchers at the Royal Liverpool Hospital know more about our toilet habits than they care to remember and their studies have a stark conclusion - crouching toilet, hidden danger.

Their study investigated whether British women prefer to crouch over public toilet seats and whether this position (as opposed to sitting on the seat itself) was better or worse for urine flow rate. Basically, if you don't sit down, do you need to go more often?

Amazingly, of the 528 women asked 85% of women crouched over public conveniences, 12% put paper on the seat but once they had done that they were happy to sit down. Only 2% of women actually sat on the seat itself. Rather worryingly, they don't mention what the remaining 1% were doing at the time. Even when asked about using the lav at a friend's house 38% of women said they would rather not touch the seat, preferring to crouch over it.

However, a crouching pee just isn't as satisfying. The researchers found that it can leave women with 150% more urine in their bladders compared with if they had sat down properly.

The Liverpool study states that you achieve 20% higher urine flow if you sit down and goes on to suggest that women with small bladders should 'sit comfortably on the toilet whenever possible'. We'll just go with the flow on this one.

Toilet facts:

An average person visits the toilet about six to eight times a day, which equals around 2,500 times a year. In all you spend about three years of your life in the toilet!

The original 1828 French meaning of toilet, or toilette, is the 'act of washing, dressing and preparing oneself'. As time went on, the word evolved into actually being the room or facility in which one arranges their toilet.

The first toilet paper was invented in England in 1880 and sold not on a roll, but as individual sheets in a box. We use an average of 57 sheets of toilet paper a day!

Most of the toilets made today use only 1.6 gallons of water per flush whilst toilets made before 1980 typically used 4.5 to 7 gallons per flush. Economy-flush loos have put an end to such wastage.
About the Author
Andy worked for four years studying ducks (no stop laughing, he really did). He went into his PhD thinking he was going to save the world (albeit from ducks) and now spends him time lovingly preening strange but true and other aspects of null-hypothesis
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