Britain behaving badly: bathroom habits revealed

From lengthy pampering sessions to a brief wash ‘n’ go, we may seem divided in many a bathroom habit – but if there’s one thing the research can agree on, it’s that the UK is all about the ‘splash and dash’!

According to a recent survey, one in ten Brits splash and dash following a trip to the loo – while one in five skip this option and choose to go without washing their hands. The study found that roughly 50 per cent of respondents were failing to properly wash their hands, which in turn led to the spread of harmful germs.

Approximately 40 per cent wash their hands for just under 10 seconds (effective hand washing with soap should take at least 20 seconds) while men are twice as likely to wash their hands without soap. However, given that the average person carries more than a staggering 10 million bacteria just in their hands, without practising basic hand hygiene, this will only encourage the spread of viruses.

The research also noted that 25 per cent of Brits wash their hands just three to five times a day, compared to the daily recommendation of eight to ten washes.

Dr Ackerley says: “I would recommend washing your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap or anti bacterial hand wash, ideally for a minimum of 20 seconds. Be sure to try your hands properly after washing as harmful bacteria spread more easily on wet or damp hands.

“Hand washing is an easy way to protect yourself and others from infectious diseases. It should always happen after using the toilet, handling raw meat or vegetables, before eating, and in many other circumstances when hands become dirty. It’s likely you would need to wash your hands around eight to ten times per day.” 

Whilst there was a small minority of Brits not washing their hands properly, one in ten people chose to avoid the use of public transport for fear of germs. The biggest bugbear experienced by the nation was the use of public toilets, having to touch door knobs as well as flushing the toilet.

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