Why Reading In The Toilet Is Bad For You

Sitting on the toilet for a prolonged period of time is no good news.

Do you have the habit of spending more time than needed when you’re in the toilet because you’re too caught up on that gossip or news column on your phone? You’re not alone –  reading in the toilet is a popular habit, but it isn’t necessarily good for you. We spoke to Dr Venayagamurthy Kanisan, consultant general and colorectal surgeon at Columbia Asia Hospital, and he explained to us how you should only reserve the time at the cubicle for two purposes.

Read: Level Up Your Bathroom

Focus on your Number 1 and Number 2

“Your body needs to be conditioned in such a way that when you see the toilet, it is only for urination or defecation. The process of defecation in controlled by nerves and muscles. If someone focuses on gadgets instead of the act of defecation, it may result in in-coordination of the pelvic floor muscles which can result in a prolonged defecation or excessive straining. Time spent in the toilet should only be around 10 minutes,” Dr Venayagamurthy shared.

Detrimental to your health

Dr Venayagamurthy added that “sitting too long on the toilet also exerts excessive pressure on the blood vessels, muscles, tissues, and nerves in the anal region. This leads to engorgement of the anal cushions in the anal canal, resulting in haemorrhoids. Besides that, it can weaken the pelvic muscles and lead to rectal prolapse (lower part of large intestine protruding out of anus). Other possible complications include hernia (due to prolonged straining) and exacerbation of varicoceles (bag of veins in the testicles).

So, focus on toilet matters when you’re in the toilet. The reading and scrolling can come later!

READ: You May Have Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Not Know It