The UK's Worst Bathroom Habits

Close up image of someone using their phone while sitting on the toilet
Author: James Roberts
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We surveyed 1500 people about the most annoying bathroom habits they’ve encountered – and what they’ll admit to doing themselves – to better understand how to avoid stepping on any toes while sharing a living space. Whether it’s housemates, family members, or even a partner, 95% of the people surveyed said that other people’s bathroom habits annoyed them.

These are the public’s biggest bathroom pet peeves:

  • 36% of men frequently leave the toilet seat up
  • 32% of people think not flushing the toilet is the worst bathroom habit
  • A third of women think peeing on the seat is the most annoying habit
  • Leaving stains in the toilet irritated 13% of people the most

What We Will Admit To

The most irksome habits the public will admit to was also illuminating, with many people admitting to some bizarre behaviour:

  • A quarter of people frequently go to the bathroom and leave the door open (women are more likely to do this than men)
  • 36% of men frequently leave the toilet seat up
  • One in four people admit to not flushing the toilet
  • 28% of the public don’t replace the toilet roll

The Worst Toilet Habits at Work

Close up image of a man sat on the toilet with his trousers around his ankles

The workplace can be a hotbed of enduring the irritating habits of colleagues. We asked our participants about the bathroom faux pas they are guilty of and got some very surprising results.

According to our findings:

  • 1 in 7 men have masturbated at work
  • The results showed that Cardiff men are most likely to masturbate at work (13%), and Belfast men are the least likely (3%)
  • 22% of men admit not washing their hands after going to the bathroom at work
  • 1 in 10 people surveyed admitted breaking something in the toilet
  • 5% of the public admit to having sex in the office toilet
  • 8% of the public have eaten food on the loo at work

To better understand our findings, we spoke to sex therapist Nicole Prause, Ph.D., about masturbation at work: “Men and women think about sex frequently, and those thoughts do not stop simply because they are at work. When sexual drive is very high, masturbation to orgasm is likely to reduce sexual distractions during the rest of the day. If a person feels especially distracted by sexual thoughts at work, it is very reasonable to use masturbation to reduce these distractions.”

Tech on the toilet

Technology is another subject our survey explored, revealing some interesting facts about the tech activities we get up to while sat on the throne:

  • 80% of young people (16 to 24-year-olds) use a smartphone on the toilet
  • A third of young people have updated their Facebook status in the bathroom
  • 30% of young people have sent a Snapchat while sat on the loo
  • 40% of young people listen to Spotify while on the toilet

Using a smartphone on the toilet may seem ordinary to the younger generation, but that isn’t true for everyone. Just 30% of people aged over 55 use a smartphone on the toilet, compared to a massive 80% of 16-24-year-olds and 75% of 25-34-year-olds.

Statement on the findings

James Roberts, Director of Sanctuary Bathrooms, explained the motivation behind the survey: “Everyone has experienced an annoying bathroom habit at work or at home, so it got us thinking about what the worst offences really are.”

“We were most surprised by the number of men who admitted masturbating in the toilets in the workplace. According to the Office of National Statistics, there are 32 million men in the UK workforce, which means over 4.6 million men may have indulged in self-love while on the job.”

Close up image of someone using their phone while sitting on the toilet