You have until tomorrow to vote on the winner of this year's "America's Best Restroom" contest, but Rick Paulas has news for you—nearly all of the bathrooms in America are complete failures. He runs down his reasoning at Pacific Standard:
- The toilet: It's actually easier on our bodies to defecate in a squatting position, rather than hunching over, which tends to "kink" up the works, garden-hose-style. (One study found that while it takes squatters an average of just 51 seconds to have a bowel movement, it takes people in the hunched-over posture 2 minutes and 10 seconds.) Rather than creating products you can buy to fix this problem, why not redesign the toilet itself?
- The sink: Its entire purpose is to clean your hands, yet it quickly and easily becomes dirty itself. In 1976, a Cornell professor named Alexander Kira published a treatise on the bathroom, and he suggests a different sink design that would eliminate this problem. He also calls for higher sinks that we don't have to bend over to use.
- The toilet paper: It's time, Paulas argues, for the bidet to catch on in the US as it's already done overseas. For one thing, it does a better job of cleaning up; for another, you actually use less water when you use a bidet, because of how much water is required to make TP.
- The bath or shower: Or, more accurately, the lack thereof in most public restrooms. What with water and money both currently in short supply, "a return to public bathing [is] more an inevitability than a possibility," Paulas writes.
Click for his complete column
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