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man pooping and looking at his ipad

Where are you reading this from? If your answer is “the toilet,” I wouldn’t be surprised. Not one bit. In fact, I may even be writing this from the toilet. And you would never know...

When it comes to bathroom time, you spend a larger chunk of your life on the porcelain throne than you might think. The whole process including doing the deed, cleanup, and of course scrolling through social media and checking emails can take up a good chunk of time.

The clocks stop. Time escapes us. The bathroom becomes a black hole where we relinquish our responsibilities and become our most vulnerable selves. So when you’re in the bathroom, you probably don’t really know how much time is spent away from productive society.

Let’s start with the obvious: how long does it take you to actually poop?

dog pooping

For most mammals, scientists have estimated it takes only about 12 seconds. This is because when mammals are in the wild, they are more vulnerable to being attacked by predators while going number 2, so evolution has made this process quick and easy for survival purposes.

Luckily for humans, we are not in the wild often. So unless your boss is a hungry velociraptor that catches you taking too many bathroom breaks, it’s unlikely you’ll be attacked and eaten while doing the deed. This societal evolution of safer bathroom situations has led to humans taking a bit longer than other mammals when it comes to pooping.

While it’s difficult to measure the exact time it takes for a human to poop, Medical News Today reports that pooping should take no longer than 10-15 minutes per sitting. Anyone who takes longer than this likely has an underlying issue, like hemorrhoids, constipation, or another condition. Or perhaps the time spent in the bathroom is not indicative of actual poop time, but rather time spent reading the news, watching videos, or playing games. 

So for humans, the average poop duration is around 12 minutes.

How often do people poop?

frustrated man pooping on the toilet

No two people are the same. No two poops are the same. 

Some people report only going three times per week, while others report going three times per day. The discrepancy can be fairly large because the frequency depends on lots of factors, like age, weight, height, food consumption, and underlying medical conditions.

Some days a person might eat certain foods that make them poop more than usual. Some days some people might be constipated or have not eaten much at all. Some people who drink coffee daily report pooping much more than those who don’t drink the bean juice. So it’s safe to say that there is no set number.

But when it comes to the average, humans tend to poop around one time per day, barring any serious health conditions.

How much time do we spend pooping throughout our entire lives?

pilot pooping on the toilet and flying

Now we’re down to the real scoop on poop.

To figure out how much time we spend pooping throughout our lives on average, there is a simple equation.

1 poop per day at 12 minutes each would be 4,380 minutes per year, or 73 hours per year. 

The average life expectancy is 79 years old, so multiply 73 hours by 79 years to get 5,767 hours. 

Then convert that number to days and you get around 240 days.

You heard it here, folks. You spend 240 days of your life pooping. And that’s not including special scenarios, like days when you eat more beans than usual or times when your digestive system is compromised. This number also doesn’t include time spent going #1, or time reading articles on your phone in the bathroom.

Your potty time is likely much larger than the average of 240 days. So the next time you’re sitting on a toilet, remember that by the time you’re 79, you’ll have spent over 240 days in the bathroom. And that toilet has likely had hoards of other people destroying its innocence throughout its lifespan.

So be sure to treat your toilet right. It’s been through a lot.

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