The Average Amount People Poop In A Year

Poop: That smelly gloop piling up inside your guts at this exact moment, in and out endlessly till one final mass ejection evacuates your bowels upon death. No worries, though, because that's the one time you won't have to clean up after yourself. And if you think that sounds grim, gross, and reduces all lifeforms to mere mobile digestive tracts carted around by flesh wagons: Yes it does. Sites like the World Economic Forum suggest that it's more realistic to call the gut our "second brain," and the rest of our higher functions a laborious wraparound justification for organisms consuming other organisms. In other words, squelch your instinctive "Eww gross" lip curl and embrace the fecal fact: You poop a lot — we all do. Own it. And remember to flush.

How much do you poop, exactly? Well, we've got to talk averages here, because there are folks who've got to run to the can three times a day, and folks who mount the throne once every three days. That's normal, per EatingWell. Live Science says that people typically accrue 2 centimeters of poop every second of every day, while eMedicineHealth breaks things down per gender: Men compile 1-pound poop piles per day, and women slightly less at 14 ounces — about as much as a decent steak. Over a year that's about 365 pounds for a man and 319 pounds for a woman. The former is as heavy as an adult reindeer, and the latter a panda bear.

Days and days lost to the toilet

At this point you've already got a fun icebreaker to deploy the next time you're at a party: "Hey guess what? You flush a panda's worthy of poop down the toilet every year! Hey wait, where are you going?" Questionable conversational choices aside, it's true that people produce way more poop than they realize, in the same way that fancy lattes add up to hundreds of dollars per year. That 14 ounces of daily poop becomes 319 annual pounds, or 25,520 pounds by 80 years old — disregarding infancy and childhood vs. adult quantities. That's the same as a big-sized trailer-less semi-tractor, over two average adult African elephants, and just for kicks, over 46 pigs. Side note: Pigs are heavier than you think.

And in case you're already dismayed at the heft of your fecal excretions, it can be shocking how much time you spend excreting them. Using data from a ukactive survey, Australian radio station Triple M makes a low estimate of 92 total days of life spent on the toilet, while sites like Green Gobbler go higher at 240 days. A study in Soft Matter, meanwhile, reports that it takes an average of 12 seconds to drop a single stool — that's the same across all mammals, small to large. But of course, pooping isn't as fast as racing in, doing a drop trou, and racing out. Even if it was, a one-a-day pooper would spend 73 minutes a year on the toilet — or 97 hours by 80 years old.

Loads of reasons for varying loads

We assumed 1 pound per person per day for our annual poop quantity, but of course things vary quite a lot. EatingWell lists a host of reasons why some people head to the toilet more than others, some of those reasons being chronic and ongoing, others temporary or cyclical. Lactose intolerance is probably the most well-known poop and diarrhea producer and is a condition shared by up to 68% of the world, as the journal The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology cites. EatingWell also cites digestive illnesses like initiable bowel syndrome (IBS) or Crohn's disease as impacting poop production and expulsion. Women's monthly cycles also affect poop frequency and quantity due to hormonal changes, as Healthline details. 

Then there are behavioral factors that influence how often and how much folks poop — things that are within our control. Eating Well says that vegetable-based diets tend to produce more poop, in no small part due to the fiber content. Coffee encourages pooping, as well, because it causes contractions in the colon. And of course, WebMD mentions the big one: water intake. Regular water equals regular bowel movements. And then there's life itself: stress, scheduling, commuting, racing around, etc., etc. Healthline explains that muscles need to be relaxed for poop to leave the body. So chill, watch a video, grab a drink. If you want, you can even do all those things on the toilet.