Gut Check

Things that come out of the human body – breath, urine, stool, sweat – can all be great indicators of what's going on inside. But first, keep scrolling to equip yourself with the knowledge to discern what you might see and to read what people in both Europe and the US are finding in their toilets. We spoke to more than 1,000 people on both sides of the pond and asked them to share the intimate details of their time on the toilet. Keep reading to see what they said.

What It Looks Like

Before we get into what's in the toilet bowl, let's take a data-based look at how we're sitting on it. Most often, respondents said they typically sit with their backs slumped over to defaecate. As you can see in the graphic below, this means that 50.2% of people lean over towards their knees with their feet on the ground while pooping. Just 11.4% made use of a footstool, which is the ideal position.

To understand why, a little anatomy lesson may be necessary. According to WebMD, the rectum operates much like a garden hose, for which a kink can help prevent anything (i.e., water or faeces) from escaping. This kink stays in position when a person is sitting, making defaecation much harder. For those who are squatting, however, the kink is removed, and "water" can start to flow more easily from the "garden hose."


Regardless of the position from which stool emerged, it was usually sausage-shaped: a shape that included cracks on the surface for 38.1% of people, a smooth and soft exterior for 37.8%, and a lumpy appearance for 9.9% people. Seventy-eight per cent had also noticed food particles in their faeces. Very few people, fortunately, experienced consistently watery diarrhoea. difficulty-during-bowel-movements

Fourteen per cent of respondents said their bowel movements were difficult to complete, and 20% experienced discomfort afterwards. In the meantime, 35% of respondents tried consuming fibre to make defaecating easier, while another 17% relied on probiotics to do the job.

Time to Go

Defaecation constituted a piece of the morning routine for most Europeans and Americans. Waking up and pooping was the most common time to defaecate for 61.8% of people. Throughout the rest of the day, it was not uncommon to forgo pooping again: 51.5% of respondents had just one bowel movement each day. Nearly 27% went again within the day, and only 21.8% pooped any more or less than this.


Colours, as well as days of the week, ran the gamut for poop experiences. Thirty-six per cent had defaecated the colour green, 26% had seen black in the bowl and 18% even saw red faeces.

True or False: Defaecation Edition

When we put the public's poop knowledge to the test, people from both regions performed like they defaecated: very well. In other words, both public knowledge and defaecation seemed healthy for the most part. Nearly 94% were aware that gut bacteria and plant fibre were essential for a good poop. Around 92% also knew that a change in stool could indicate a problem. Roughly 91% knew that a low-fibre intake could cause constipation.

However, not as many (22.2%) knew that men and women defaecate differently, but they actually do.

The Final Flush

We're incredibly grateful to the more than 1,000 respondents who chose to share some intimate details of their bowel movements with us. The data provided helped to reveal what many Europeans and Americans are getting right and wrong about this particular indicator. After all, we spend an average of one hour and 42 minutes every week, or nearly 92 days of our lifetime, sitting on the toilet.

And speaking of the immense amount of time spent in the bathroom, shouldn't these areas be in perfect working condition and be easy on the eyes? It may seem like a lot to ask, but QS Supplies is here to help. We offer everything from bathroom sinks, grab bars, bidets to toilet and shower options that can make your plumbing flow seamlessly with your life. So, head to QS Supplies today to start sprucing up one of the most important aspects of your home and your life!

Methodology and Limitations

We conducted a survey of 512 Europeans and 515 Americans and asked them questions related to their bowel movements. Fifty-five per cent of our respondents identified as male, 45% identified as female, and less than 1% identified as nonbinary. Respondents ranged in age from 18 to 80 with an average of 37 and a standard deviation of 12. Additionally, a second survey of 958 Americans was conducted to explore digestive patterns among the respondents. An attention-check question was used to identify and disqualify respondents who failed to read questions in their entirety. The main limitation of this study is its reliance on self-reporting, which is faced with myriad issues from attribution to exaggeration, telescoping, recency bias and more.

Fair use statement

If you'd like to share our findings, please feel free to do so; just be sure your purposes are noncommercial and you link back to this page.

Disclaimer: QS Supplies does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.