Portaloo in the middle of nowhere on Roughtor, Davidstow, Bodmin Moor, Cornwall
Credit: Education Images/Getty Images

It’s official: three British scientists have weighed in with compelling evidence that the squat or hover technique is the most hygienic way to use the toilet. In a horrifying twist, the experts have about as much regard for the toilet paper method as these shred-happy cats.

If you’ve been keeping tabs on toilet hygiene techniques, then you’ll already know that paper seat covers were proven ineffective years ago. So it should come as no surprise that crafting your own cover out of toilet paper is no more effective – in fact, depending on how exposed your toilet roll is to, erm, “the elements,” you may actually be introducing more bacteria to the scene.

But wait, there’s more: hovering may be the most hygienic way to use the toilet, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best for your bod. The hover method actually causes your muscles to tense up, which is bad news bears when it comes to bladder strength in the long run.

So if you’re not supposed to line the seat in quilted softness, and you’re not advised to squat like it’s a Blogilates workout, how the heck are you supposed to answer nature’s call?

If you’re at home, the easiest thing to do is just keep your toilet clean. There are daily, weekly and monthly steps you can take to keep your commode relatively germ-free. And let’s face it — it’s easy enough to do (unless you’re this adorable toddler, who’s mastered just about every other chore). If you’re really worried, you can keep antibacterial wipes beside the toilet. Just make sure no one confuses them for wet wipes.

And hey, don’t give up on public bathrooms. If you’re worried about the potential physical impact of the most hygienic way to use the toilet, we have one word for you: kegels.