New toilet design aims to cut time in the bathroom

A British company has patented a new toilet design with a sloped seat. Spend too long on it and you'll get leg cramps.

People are spending too much time in the bathroom at work — and it's bad for their health and productivity. At least that's what a British company claims.

The StandardToilet is similar to most toilets, with a key difference: the toilet's seat and bowl are slanted 11-13 degrees, so that after about five minutes of sitting it causes a strain in the legs.

StandardToilet

Mahabir Gill, the founder of StandardToilet told Wired that the leg pain is not great enough to cause health problems but "you'd soon want to get off the seat quite quickly."

What's the rush?

According to Wired and other published reports, inspiration for the toilet came from Gill's personal annoyance at finding employees asleep on the toilet or growing lines for public toilets and he found that extended bathroom time costs employers money.

According to their website — which has has been taken down — the StandardToilet can increase employee efficiency by reducing the use of social media and reduces lines for bathrooms at shopping malls, public transport, restaurants and sports events.

The company also claims that the slanted design helps with bowel movements by improving posture and reduces the use of pelvic muscles.

Since surfacing on social media, the StandardToilet has received a lot of backlash.

When reached for comment, a StandardToilet spokesperson defended the design.

"Obviously spending less time on the WC is advantageous to the employer, but .. really this (is) the byproduct, with primary health advantages," the spokesperson wrote to TODAY via email. "Once the dust settles and everyone starts thinking rationally, it will become clear that spending too long on the toilet is not healthy."

Dr. Anish Sheth, a gastroenterologist from Princeton, New Jersey, and co-author of "What Your Poo is Telling You", is skeptical of the design and only sees one potential health benefit from the StandardToilet — reducing hemorrhoids.

"There are studies, at least one, that show that people that read on the toilet have bigger problems with hemorrhoids," Sheth told TODAY. "In that study they basically did a base line and told people to stop reading on the toilet and they found that the hemorrhoid problem got better."

The StandardToilet is doing exactly the opposite of the squatty potty which makes your knees more elevated, the optimum angle for going to the bathroom, Sheth points out. Having your knees at a declined slant could make it harder to go, worsen hemorrhoids and make it more difficult for people to leave faster.

Sheth understands the concept, but told TODAY it doesn't seem the right way to go about accomplishing it.

"Why not have a toilet seat that vibrates forcefully every five minutes or something?," he asked. "There would be easier ways to work with existing toilets to achieve the same effect without having to redesign the seat and put strain on legs."