It kind of looks like the pandemic is changing how men pee

According to a small survey carried out in Japan, 70% of Japanese men are now peeing sitting down, compared to just 51% a few years ago.

Image credits: Giorgio Trovato.

The survey was carried out by Panasonic, which most people would know as an electronics company — but Panasonic is also a big player in toilet equipment like heated toilet seats and sensors, and the company has been involved in urinary research before. The survey was rather small, featuring just 155 male respondents, but it identifies an intriguing trend: more men are starting to pee sitting down, and the pandemic seems to be playing a role in this.

A similar 2015 survey had found that 51% of male respondents urinated while seated. At the beginning of 2020, 58% of participants were doing the same thing, but by August 2020, the figure had grown to 70%, a pretty respectable change.

According to the interviews carried out for the survey, the main reason for this change seems to be the extra time participants spend at home, and in particular, with their spouses.

“Missing” and making a mess was quoted as one of the reasons for the shift, especially as many are spending more time at home during the pandemic. Being more comfortable with the home toilet than the work can also play a role, and features like heated seats also made the experience more pleasant, participants said.

This is in line with previous reports. Admittedly, data is scarce on this topic and what happens in the toilet usually stays in the toilet, but married men do seem to pee sitting down more than their single peers, with spousal pressure seemingly at play.

Good aim? Puh-lease!

The fact that more men are peeing down is probably good.

Here’s the thing: if you think you’re a good aimer and everything stays in the bowl, you’re probably wrong. There are things you can do to reduce splashback (as one interesting study highlighted) but the physics of standing urination is surprisingly complex, and to make matters even worse, not all splashback is visible to the naked eye.

Here’s what one UV survey found:

Medically, it might also be better to pee sitting down. A 2014 study by Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands found that sitting down helps men with prostate problems have a “more favorable urodynamic profile.” The idea is gaining traction among urologists, although the science is far from settled.

So where do you stand on this? A fan of standing and letting it rip, or taking a break to do it sitting down? Let’s have our own survey in the comments.

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