Are you one of those people who always line the toilet seat with tissue or toilet paper before sitting down?
It's a common practice because you do so to prevent catching a disease from someone else’s, erm, splashes that may be left on the toilet seat.
You either hover or cover. There's no in between.
Hate to burst your bubble, but according to research, covering the toilet seat actually provides comfort rather than disease protection!
Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, USA said that it's safe put your bare bottom on an uncovered toilet seat.
“That’s because toilet seats are not a vehicle for the transmission of any infectious agents - you won’t catch anything," said Schaffner as quoted by The Huffington Post.
He also said the reason for this habit is because of toilets’ inherent disgusting factor.
Experts also say that the bacteria often found on toilet seats are common skin microbes that most people already have, so they pose little to no risk
Sexually transmitted infections were once thought to spread through toilet seat-skin contact.
But these organisms don't survive for long outside the human body and to infect you, they need to enter either through an open cut or sore, which wouldn't normally come into contact with the seat.
In fact, the skin on our bottoms is an effective protection against bacteria.
Germs aren't only found on the seat itself, the toilet paper that you use is an ideal carrier for all kinds of bacteria
Every toilet flush puts germs into the air - all that funk in the toilet bowl can be propelled as far as 6 feet (1.8 meters) - meaning that even the toilet paper itself is likely contaminated. That's a big reason you should always flush with the lid down.
So what can you do to minimise the risk of becoming ill from using the bathroom? Wash your hands properly.
Hand washing is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of infection. According to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), handwashing can prevent about 30% of diarrhea-related sicknesses and about 20% of respiratory infections like flu.
There you have it - don't worry about putting your bum down the next time you're in the loo!