Only 11% Of People Poop The ‘Healthy’ Way, QS Supplies Study Finds

by : Lucy Connolly on : 25 May 2020 13:49
Only 11% Of People Poop The 'Healthy' Way, Study FindsUniversal Pictures/New Line Cinema

For many, pooing is somewhat of a taboo subject – a necessary part of life, yes, but one we’d rather not talk about with our peers.

After all, what goes on in the privacy of our own bathrooms is nobody’s business but our own. But what if speaking about our bowel movements actually helped us figure out any unhealthy habits, or the kinds of things we’re doing wrong?


I know what you’re probably thinking: how could you possibly be pooing wrong? Well, according to new research, the majority of us are because only around 11% of people defecate the ‘healthy’ way.

bridesmaids pooing sceneUniversal Pictures

The research, conducted by QS Supplies, surveyed more than 1,000 Brits and Americans to find out about their time spent on the toilet and their bowel movements in general.

The team took away a few interesting statistics from the study, including: a quarter of those polled said they use baby wipes for a ‘clean finish’; 36% had defecated the colour green (yes, really); and nearly one in five believe men and women poo differently. Disclaimer: they do, but we’ll come back to that later.


However, one finding in particular stood out. That being only 11.4% of people poo the ‘healthy’ way, which involves using a footstool to ensure your body is in the ideal position while defecating. Most often, respondents said they typically sit with their backs slumped over while pooing, with 50.2% of people leaning over towards their knees with their feet on the ground.

most common bowel movementsQS Supplies

So then why is the footstool the way to go? Well, while sitting with your feet on the ground might relax the puborectalis muscle slightly, it still takes quite a bit of effort to push the waste through because the position of the rectum is still kinked up.

However, if you introduce a footstool and sit with your knees up above the hips, leaning forward slightly, this kink is removed and the faeces is able to empty out quickly and thoroughly.


Regardless of the position from which the poo emerged, the stools of those surveyed were usually sausage-shaped: 38.1% of people reported excreting a stool that looked like ‘a sausage but with cracks on the surface’, while 37.8% said their faeces looked like ‘a sausage or snake – smooth and soft’.

most common bowel consistencyQS Supplies

And while most people (92%) knew that a change in stool could indicate a medical problem, significantly fewer (22.2%) knew that men and women defecate differently – something that is actually true.

How? It’s pretty simple when it’s broken down: because the bacteria in male and female guts differ, the smell and colour of their excrement often differs as well.


Basically, everybody’s poops are different and there’s nothing wrong with that – as long as yours is of a healthy consistency (i.e. not consistently watery diarrhoea) and you’re not pooing too much or too little, that is.

If you want to find out what a healthy gut looks like, you can find the full research here.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Lucy Connolly

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).

Topics: Health, Life, poo, Research, Study


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