Men seem to be guiltier of this than women, but there are only two reasons you’d want to spend time sitting on the toilet and neither of them involve scrolling through your Facebook feed. (Yes, this happens!)
In a similar fashion to your bed, whereby you use it to sleep and have sex, the toilet is one place you should only be visiting if you need to relieve yourself of the by-products that build up in your body.
It should not be a drawn out process, so leave the phone, the newspaper and that must-read book out of it.
According to the University of Pittsburgh’s Gregory Thorkelson, you are best keeping your visit to the loo to less than 10 to 15 minutes.
In fact, the psychiatrist in the department of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition says the only time you should be making your way to the toilet is when there is an urge to do so.
When it comes to urges, Thorkelson says if there isn’t one you could be tempted to push of strain in an effort to get the job done, but such action could lead you to develop hemorrhoids — a swollen vein or group of veins around the anus that can often be quite painful and sometimes even bleed.
The other reason you’ll be wanting to reconsider your habits in the toilet is because activities such as scrolling through your phone or reading a magazine could distract you enough to prevent you from actually doing what it is you went in there for in the first place.
Thorkelson calls the progressive, balanced contractions that move a stool through the bowel the ‘peristalsis wave’ and it is what inspires your need to go.
Of course if you’re distracted and you don’t go when you should there is a thing called ‘reverse peristalsis’ that is a backing up of the stool into your colon, which makes trying to go all the more difficult.
What you want to be doing is catching the wave when it comes.
If you’re regularly spending more than 10 to 15 minutes in the toilet or you often find it difficult to go you might want to discuss the issue with your doctor.