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BMA research unveils the bathroom habits of UK adults

The Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA) has released its latest research findings, revealing previously unseen insights into the intimate area of UK adults’ bathroom habits.

Key findings from the study include:

Toilet Habits:

  • Men use more toilet paper than women. On average, women use 6.1 sheets of toilet paper per use, whereas men utilise 7.5 sheets.
  • 3 out of every 50 of us don’t wash our hands after a toilet visit at home.
  • 1 in 25 of our toilet visits need a little extra help to clear the pan, with men being particularly fond of the double flush.

Bath Utilisation:

  • Despite the prevalence of baths in 87% of households, nearly a third remain unused.

Water Wastage:

  • 3 out of 5 participants admitted to leaving the tap running while washing hands, with 42% doing so while brushing their teeth.

Showering Preferences:

  • Women like their showers hot. While most people favour maintaining a consistent shower temperature, 19 out of 50 women opt to increase the temperature during their showers.

Technology in the Bathroom:

  • People are turning their back on tech in the bathroom. Despite the digitalisation of modern life, only 13 in 100 people expressed a desire for more technology in their bathrooms. Instead, the majority sought a tranquil sanctuary devoid of external distractions, with a focus on water-saving innovations rather than intrusive gadgets.

The study, supported by Professor Ian Walker of the School of Psychology at Swansea University, embarked on a journey to unravel the mysteries behind the bathroom door. Focusing on daily routines and behaviours, the research aimed to uncover why we engage in certain practices and the underlying factors that drive our actions, particularly concerning water-saving habits.

Many of our bathroom habits are deeply rooted in childhood, forming subconscious routines that persist into adulthood. However, the installation of a new bathroom presents a unique opportunity for behaviour change, disrupting established patterns and paving the way for the adoption of more sustainable practices.

Reflecting on wasteful bathroom habits, participants cited deep-seated routines and prioritisation of personal well-being as primary drivers, indicating a reluctance to modify behaviours despite acknowledging their environmental impact.

As the study drew to a close, participants were tasked with envisioning “The Perfect Bathroom,” revealing emerging design trends such as black brassware, botanical accents, and thoughtful lighting arrangements.

Commenting on the findings, Jane Blakeborough, the BMA’s research manager, remarked, “Our research offers insights into the complexities of human behaviour within the private realm of the bathroom. By understanding the motivations behind our habits, we can work towards creating more sustainable and satisfying spaces that harmonise with our lifestyle needs.”

The comprehensive report, enriched by Professor Walker’s expertise and real-world observations, promises to inform future strategies for promoting water conservation and enhancing bathroom design.

An overview of the research findings is available here.

The full research findings are available only to member companies of the BMA here.

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