Using your mobile phone while sitting on the toilet could put you at risk of a range of health issues, an expert has warned.
The habit is a common one, with many taking their device with them when visiting the bathroom for some light entertainment.
While you may assume scrolling through TikTok or replying to messages on the loo is harmless, one doctor is urging everyone to stop – or at the very least adapt their phone usage when needing the bathroom.
According to Dr Sethi, using your phone while on the toilet “can actually have some serious consequences”, especially when doing a “number two”.
The health expert explained that the habit “can lead to prolonged sitting on the toilet, which can cause strain and pressure on your rectum and anus. This can lead to issues such as hemorrhoids, anal fissures and even rectal prolapse.”
Posting a video on TikTok, the doctor stated that these are not the only risks linked to using your phone on the loo. The habit can also result in your device becoming a “breeding ground for bacteria”, writes the Mirror.
Dr Sethi added: “The average smartphone is dirtier than a public toilet seat, so try avoiding scrolling while using the toilet”.
However, the doctor went on to explain that if it is too difficult for you to ditch your phone before heading to the bathroom, you should “at least have a disinfectant around to clean the phone after you are done with the business.”
Research carried out over the years has proven that phones can be a hotbed for germs. According to a study by experts at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2011, one in six phones had faecal matter on them.
More than 65 per cent of adults take their phone into the toilet with them, according to an international study carried out last year. Spain was found to have the highest percentage of people carrying their device into the loo with them, with 80 per cent on average. Germany had the lowest, with just under 55 per cent.
A generational divide was identified in those who spend time scrolling whilst taking a loo break. People aged between 26 and 41 years-old were found to be the most likely to take part in the bacteria ridden habit, with those aged 18-25 years-old closely following.
There is an additional issue not mentioned by Dr Sethi in his social media post. Scrolling through your mobile while in the bathroom makes you far more likely to drop your device in the loo – creating a germ nightmare of even breaking your phone completely.
Therefore, it may be a good idea to leave your phone behind when nature calls.