WHAT ARE THEY DOING IN THERE?
By Mark Salamon, September 7, 2020
I recently came across a 2017 poll of two thousand adults in Great Britain which revealed that on average, people spend more than twice as much time on the loo as they do exercising. This stunning statistic prompted a host of public-health related questions to come to mind. Questions like what does “on the loo” mean? And every answer I got seemed to lead to another question, like why can’t these Brits just call it a toilet like everybody else?
But my most pressing question stemmed from the specific details of the poll, which reported that the average Brit spends three hours and nine minutes per week on, I’m going to call it, the can. That translates to twenty-seven minutes per day. As someone who has been personally accused of spending an inordinate amount of time on this activity, I don’t feel so guilty now. Twenty-seven minutes eclipses even my daily average, which prompted me, and apparently many of the researchers, to wonder what the F are they doing in there?
It’s not like there is a whole lot that needs to get done, especially in a modern public restroom. I could see back in the day, when using a public restroom involved actual work. Back then you had to actually turn a knob to get the water to run, crank a handle to get paper towels, and push this little lever attached to the toilet to get it to flush. But today a public restroom is a miracle of modern technology that does everything but take a crap for you. How long could it possibly take?
But those who conducted the poll think that technology – or more specifically, cell phones – may indeed be the main reason why people are lingering far too long on the loo. (Ok, that phrase is growing on me.) Steven Ward, chief executive of UKactive, which conducted the poll, stated that “things like poor diet, lack of exertion and our tendency to play on smartphones in the bathroom” have a lot to do with these findings. “Humans are made to move, but modern living has stripped physical activity out of our lives to the point where we pass more time spending a penny than we do getting sweaty.”
Ok, “spending a penny?” Wow, that’s awesome. Fellow Americans, this is a wakeup call. Action must be taken soon because we are getting slaughtered in the category of creative expressions.
The survey also revealed that while the average Brit exercises for less than thirteen minutes per day, forty-one percent of eighteen to twenty-four-year-olds said that pictures of friends and celebrities exercising on social media motivate them to be more active. Ironically, these are the same people who are frittering away their exercise time looking at these pictures on their phones while they are spending a penny sitting on the loo.
Maybe they should fit their loos with bike pedals.