When you need some peace and quiet, where would you go? Maybe for a long stroll around your neighbourhood, to a cafe to clear your head, or perhaps, even to a quaint bookshop for some me time.
The place my mind doesn’t automatically jump to, is the toilet.
But maybe it should have done because it seems a third of British blokes admit to hiding in their bathrooms to get some peace, a study has found.
Researchers who polled 1,000 men found they spend a total of seven hours a year in the bathroom – just for brief respite.
Seven hours. So that’s 420 minutes a year which they feel the need to escape from reality and be alone with their thoughts – in the toilet.
Now, I’m all for needing time alone to clear your head – I do it all the time! But why the toilet?
Well, apparently, it’s a convenient place within the household to avoid chores and to look at their mobile phone undisturbed.
The men surveyed also escape to the toilet when their other half is ‘nagging’ them – or to avoid the kids. Nice!
But I wouldn’t stay in there for too long folks, or else this could happen:
A spokesperson for bathroom experts, Pebble Grey, who commissioned the research said:
We all need a little bit of time to ourselves – to take stock or switch off completely.
And the bathroom appears to be the go-to place for those moments – it’s very much a sanctuary, somewhere we can cut ourselves off from the outside world, albeit just temporarily.
As the results suggest, peace and quiet is sacred and clearly men take the opportunity to get this where they can – often in the bathroom.
The research also found, on average, one in 10 visits to the bathroom are interrupted – that’s 171 during the course of a typical year.
Men were most likely to be disturbed by their partners – although children aren’t far behind.
So why do people feel the need to hide away in the bathroom?
According to the research, forty-five percent said getting any time to themselves is a struggle – and a quarter claimed their partner doesn’t appreciate just how busy their life is.
In fact, 25 per cent of men said if they couldn’t escape to the bathroom from time to time, they ‘don’t know how they’d cope.’
And for a third, going to the bathroom is the only way they can get any time to themselves. While 23 per cent describe their bathroom as their little refuge – their ‘safe place.’
How do they occupy themselves in such a confined space, you might ask. Well, 14 per cent revealed they store items such as magazines, books and even food for those times they hide away in the bathroom.
Now, books and magazines I can understand. But food might be taking it slightly too far!
You might think, as the bathroom is the man’s place of calm, they would clean it regularly to keep it tidy. However, this isn’t the case as 44 per cent of men admit their partner still tends to clean the bathroom most often.
A further 1,000 women also took part in the survey carried out through OnePoll.com and 72 per cent agreed they’re the ones who tend to keep it spick and span.
But the bathroom isn’t just a refuge for men! More than one fifth described it as the place they go to in order to escape everyone and get some much needed peace.
So perhaps it’s no surprise one in 10 households have even resorted to introducing a ‘do not disturb’ rule when the bathroom is in use.
Although 85 per cent of those of who have introduced this rule STILL get interrupted.
The Pebble Grey spokesman added:
Apparently some things aren’t sacred anymore – including being left alone to use the loo. So it’s no wonder so many households have introduced rules to prevent disturbances.
Sadly though, it seems few people adhere to this rule or respect the hallowed ground that is the bathroom.
Keep doing you guys!
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).