How long should you spend on the toilet?

Posted by Adam Stephey on


Did you know that spending too much time in the bathroom can have more dangerous effects than irritating your roommate or spouse? The shape a toilet seat causes a lot of pressure to the be put on the lower rectum[1]. If you’re spending more than a few minutes to do your business, you could be at risk for hemorrhoids, anal fissures, and, in extreme cases, anal prolapse. Let’s ease into this.


This is the least common but most serious injury that could incur from spending too much time on the toilet. Allow me to regale you with a cautionary tale. In February 2018, a man in China was rushed to the hospital because he felt a large lump come out of his anus while he was on the toilet.

This image is a CT Scan of the man’s prolapsed anus (believe me, I could have picked a worse picture). He told his doctor that he had been sitting on the toilet for half an hour playing games on his phone. His rectum had detached from the body and been forced out by the pressure of defecating. To repair the damage, the man had to undergo surgery to remove the mass.

This particular patient had been dealing with this condition since he was a child[2], but the time spent on the toilet is what gave that final “push.” When you sit on the toilet for too long, the muscles in your pelvis begin to weaken. Your rectum also starts to bulge as pressure builds in your abdomen. This combination is what could land you in the same situation as that man from China.

Yes, there’s only a small chance that this will happen to you. But even that small chance is too big of a risk, in my opinion. What you’re more likely to encounter are issues like anal fissures or hemorrhoids.


Everyone has hemorrhoids. The difference is that some people have healthy functioning hemorrhoids, and some hemorrhoids become swollen. When someone “has hemorrhoids” what they really have are irritated  hemorrhoids[3]

Hemorrhoids can become irritated when too much pressure is on the lower rectum. Where does this happen? On the toilet. When you’re going #2, the toilet seat can cut off blood flow to the rectum. The longer you sit, the more you put yourself at risk. While this isn’t as traumatizing as our first example, it can still mean bleeding after you poop, itchiness, swollen hemorrhoids, and even clots that need to be drained[4].


Anal fissures are sensitive to that same pressure. An anal fissure is a tear in the lining of your anal canal. When the pressure on the muscles in your anus is too high, the muscles can become fatigued. They can spasm and block blood flow, which can then cause these fissures[5].

Basically, any time you are sitting on the toilet for longer than a few minutes, you are putting your body at risk. Some doctors recommend that you don’t bring any distractions into the bathroom with you. That means no reading material and no phones4.


If you’re saying to yourself, “I can’t go any faster, that’s just how my body works!” You may be surprised to find out that the average bowel movement shouldn’t take more than 12 seconds4. If you find yourself struggling, or taking more than a few minutes, your body isn’t ready yet3.

To make sure that you aren’t putting your health at risk. Set a timer while you’re in the bathroom. The Toilet Timer by Katamco is created specifically to solve this problem.

Turn the timer a full 360° clockwise to start the sand timer. The timer goes for about five minutes. If you haven’t made your deposit by the end of that time, it’s best to take a break and try again later.

Toilet Timers are helpful to everyone! Potty training new poopers? Toilet Timer. Spouse spending too much time in the bathroom? Toilet Timer. Coworkers making the bathroom their second office? Toilet Timer. There is no poo-crastinator too big or too small.

Start building healthy habits and stop hogging the bathroom. Your body (and your loved ones) will thank you.

Toilet_Timer_by_Katamco poop or get off the pot




[2] Tiffany Lo,

[3] Iris Tse,

[4] Wendy Wisner,

[5] Suzanne Falck,

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →



Sold Out