Is It Healthy To Spend A Long Time Reading On The Toilet?

It seems that everything comes with a warning these days. If you are one of the 56% of us who read on the toilet, you may be surprised that this habit comes with a few warnings as well. Read on to weigh your risks.


two people readingWe’ll start with the benefits. Reading is extremely good for you. It not only educational, it expands critical thinking and analytical skills.

Reading is also a stress reducer. (If you’re reading what interests you, that is.) Less stress equals less heart disease, so it’s a win-win.

Stress reduction also extends to the toilet. For many of us, going is a struggle. Often the frustration of grunting, straining, and waiting leads us to give up.

Just as you should never give up on your dreams, you should never give up on a bowel movement. When you need to go, but can’t or don’t, the fecal matter travels back upward. It makes sense, otherwise, you’d have a mess on your hands.

In the intestines, it becomes further dehydrated which makes it even harder to pass. After a while, this can cause a blockage which can make you really sick.

Reading on the toilet keeps you there longer, and it also takes your mind off the struggle. This may actually help you go.

The Risks

Fecal matter is everywhere, as are germs. Anything you hold in your hands transmits harmful bacteria to your skin and vise versa. So, you may want to wash your hands before you go and after.

Also, the longer your rear is in contact with the toilet, the less blood flow you are getting to your lower extremities. This usually isn’t a problem, but some people have taken falls due to the tingling in their feet. This has given rise to a new industry.

If you’re addicted to reading, you may even be at risk of overstaying your welcome. Try to be considerate of other’s needs if you only have the one bathroom.

Healthy or No?

a toilet signConsidering germs and fecal matter are everywhere, the reading on the toilet should not increase your risk of illness. Just be careful about hand hygiene and make sure your book leaves the loo with you.

Our immune systems are made to handle everyday germs. If you are a healthy person, you shouldn’t have much to worry about.

If you are constipated often, reading may actually help you relax and pass the time it takes for your body to expel waste naturally. One suggestion for constipation is to eat a good meal, then sit on the toilet for a while. Read your book to pass some time, and the theory is that the meal will jump start peristalsis.

However, you shouldn’t sit too long. If you haven’t gone in twenty minutes or so, call it a wash and come back later.

The Conclusion

Each person must decide whether the benefits outweigh the risks. If you read this on the toilet, you’ve already decided!