the guardian: Is reading on the loo bad for you?

Filthy habit or blameless bliss? A public health study by Ron Shaoul lifts the lid on toilet reading once and for all.

From the moment Ron Shaoul took it upon himself to investigate the practice of reading on the toilet, scouring medical literature and turning up nothing of note as to its public health consequences, the situation became clear that here, on his hands, was a big job. …

Shaoul cast his net wide. He received completed questionnaires from 499 men and women, aged 18 to over 65 – some unemployed or students, others builders and academics; some from rural villages, others from the city. More than half of the men (64%) and 41% of the women confessed to being regular toilet readers. More often than not, they described their reading material as „whatever is around“. In practice, this usually meant newspapers.

It transpires that toilet readers spend more time on the loo and consider themselves less constipated than non-toilet readers, but other measures of their defecation habits show the two groups hardly differ. Shaoul’s work hints that toilet readers suffer more haemorrhoids – something that made for cautionary news stories around the world – but the effect is neglible.

Finally, Shaoul concluded that reading on the toilet is widespread, alleviates boredom, and is ultimately harmless. This rings true to Curtis. „I always have New Scientist by the toilet. I use it as distraction therapy. I don’t particularly want to think about crapping.“

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Veröffentlicht in Allgemein

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