The term “gut health” has become almost synonymous with health and wellness.  It seems like everywhere you turn, people are talking about what keeps them regular, the best probiotics for your gut microbiome, and even the consistency of their number twos. As with any snowballing trend, there are a lot of different opinions, advice, misinformation, and even helpful information wrapped up in that snowball that’s hurtling toward you—and it can be hard to separate fact from fiction to get to the bottom of truly bad poop habits.

Thankfully, there are experts like Austin Chiang, MD, MPH, a triple board-certified, trained gastroenterologist and advanced endoscopist, chief medical officer of Medtronic, and founding president of the Association for Healthcare Social Media (AHSM). Dr. Chiang talks about gut health with his many followers on TikTok and explores topics like misinformation around gut health, colorectal cancer awareness, and important screenings.

We talked to Dr. Chiang about six bad poop habits gastroenterologists wish people wouldn’t do, as well as some ideal behaviors to adopt in your daily routine.

1. Sitting on the toilet for too long

“In the bathroom, I would say that sitting too long on the toilet could predispose someone to develop hemorrhoids. If the reason for sitting too long is constipation, that may need to be evaluated by a professional,” says Dr. Chiang. If you’re not sure what “too long” means, here’s a guideline: You shouldn’t sit on the toilet for longer than five minutes,  Heather Jeffcoat, DPT, pelvic floor therapist and founder of, previously told Well+Good. Ideally, you should be able to go poop within a minute or less when on that porcelain throne.

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