Say goodbye to comfort breaks! New downward-tilting toilets are designed to force users into a ‘squat-thrust’ so workers spend less time on the loo
- The ‘StandardToilet’ has an ‘inconveniently sloped’ seat at a 13 degree angle
- This will make it uncomfortable to spend more than five minutes on the toilet
- Developers say this provides some health benefits including improved posture
- They say the main benefit is to employees in improved employee productivity
An extended office bathroom break could be a thing of the past thanks to a new toilet that developers say will make people want to leave the loo after five minutes.
The ‘StandardToilet’ has been backed by the British Toilet Association (BTA), a group that campaigns for better bathroom facilities in offices and public spaces.
The seat is sloped forward by about 13 degrees to increase strain on the legs similar to a gentle squat thrust, according to developer Mahabir Gill.
The Staffordshire based company says it has already had interest from local councils and motorway service stations for the £150 – £500 toilet.
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The seat is sloped forward by about 13 degrees to increase strain on the legs similar to a gentle squat thrust, according to developer Mahabir Gill
They hope to also target offices as they believe cutting down on the length of employee bathroom breaks would dramatically improve productivity.
‘It is estimated that in the United Kingdom alone, extended employee breaks costs industry and commerce an £4 billion per annum’, Mr Gill said.
‘With the advent of flexible zero hour contracts it is easy to see why our StandardToilet can be an asset to a business.’
He says it provides health and wellbeing benefits through improved posture and encouraging less time sitting on the toilet.
‘Medical studies have suggested that using the traditional WC can cause swollen haemorrhoids and weakening of pelvic muscles.
‘The StandardToilet provides Increased comfort through promoting the engagement of upper and lower leg muscles which helps reduce musculoskeletan disorders.’
They hope to target offices with their toilet (the floor standing model is pictured here) as they believe cutting down on the length of employee bathroom breaks would dramatically improve productivity
The toilet has been sloped at 13 degrees as it is inconvenient for the employee but not harmful, in fact it could have some health benefits around improving posture, according to Mr Gill.
‘Anything higher would cause wider problems. Thirteen degrees is not too inconvenient, but you’d soon want to get off the seat’.
He said he was inspired by time working as an engineer when he would find workers asleep on the toilet or from queues for public restrooms.
A survey by Protecting.co.uk carried out in July 2019 across eight UK cities found that some people were spending up to 28 minutes in the bathroom while at work.
The researchers found that with the average bathroom break in a London office sitting at 28 minutes and 35 seconds, companies might be losing up to two and a half hours of working time per week for each employee.
They worked out that at an average hourly wage in London of £12.78 this was costing companies £1533.60 per year – per employee.
A survey by Protecting.co.uk carried out in July 2019 across eight UK cities found that some people were spending up to 28 minutes in the bathroom while at work. StandardToilet hope their loos, the wall mounted model is seen here, will solve that problem
StandardToilet say their sloped solution would help to reduce employees social media use and improve productivity by cutting down on toilet time.
Not everybody agrees that toilet time is time wasted.
‘Viewing time spent in the toilet as a threat is the wrong way of looking at the issue entirely,’ Charlotte Jones, co-author of the Around the Toilet project, told Wired.
‘I think the importance of the toilet as a refuge during the workday says more about inadequate workspaces, heavy workloads and unsupportive management, than it does about the workers themselves.’
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP MY BOWEL MOVEMENTS?
It is important to try to make time for your bowels each day. Most bowels respond best to a regular habit.
About 30 minutes after eating is the most likely time for the bowel to work. This is because of the ‘gastro-colic response’ which means that eating sets waves of activity in motion in the bowel.
Try not to rush going to the toilet. If you have a tendency to be constipated, set aside about ten minutes in the toilet.
Preferably this should be at a time when you are not rushing to do other things. Find a toilet that you feel comfortable to use and where you do not feel inhibited by lack of privacy or time.
Remove constipating medication
If you are taking any medicines (prescribed or bought from the chemist) ask your doctor or chemist if they could be contributing to your constipation.
If possible, try to remove constipating medications, e.g codeine.
Firstly, make sure you are comfortable on the toilet. It is most-natural for humans to squat to pass a stool.
You may find that having your feet on a footstool, about 20-30cm (eight to ten inches) high helps by improving the angle of the rectum within the pelvis and making it easier to pass stools.
Relax and breathe normally. Do not hold your breath as this will encourage you to strain.
Tighten your abdominal muscles. You should feel them push forwards and sideways. This is called the brace.
Concentrate on relaxing the anus (back passage) to allow the stool to pass. Do not push from above without relaxing the anus below.
Drink more water
Try to drink at least 1.5 litres (six to eight cups) of fluid per day, unless advised otherwise by your doctor as the body may become dehydrated if it is not replaced.
Dehydration can result in constipation. Try to limit the amount of coffee and alcohol you drink as this can irritate the bowels as well as causing dehydration.
High fibre diets aren’t always the best
Eating regularly is the best stimulant for your bowels. Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can lead to a sluggish or irregular bowel habit.
Contrary to popular belief a high fibre diet is not always the best diet for people who suffer from constipation.
Regular meals and an adequate fluid intake are more important. Too much fibre can lead to an increase in bloating and discomfort.
If you do feel your diet is short on fibre, try to use fruit and vegetables (soluble fibre) rather than cereals (insoluble fibre) as they are less bloating.
Be careful not to eat excessive amounts of fibre as this could lead to loose bowel motions that are difficult to control.
Some foods can act as natural laxatives in some people, such as liquorice, chocolate, prunes, figs and spicy food.
Exercise can help to improve bowel habits as it helps to stimulate the bowel to work regularly but be careful not to overdo it.
If you lead a very inactive lifestyle (driving to work at a desk job) even taking a regular walk at lunchtime can make a difference.
There are specific exercises for your sphincter and pelvic floor that may help to improve both bowel function and control.