Anyone who is squeamish about coming into contact with germs in the public washroom should choose the first cubicle in a row of stalls, according to research.
And the middle cubicle should be avoided at all costs since this will potentially be most people’s choice.
US celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz makes the claim that the first toilet in a row tends to be used the least, particularly by women. “Experts theorise that people tend to skip the first stall in favour of stalls further back to have a little more privacy,” he said.
“But because the first stall is used least often, it contains the lowest bacteria levels.”
He says that rather than skip the first cubicle, we should opt for that one it if we wish to avoid possible infections.
A study carried out by New York Magazine backs up Oz’s claim that the first cubicle is likely to be the cleanest. However, it adds that most people pick the middle cubicle when given a line of identical options. This is therefore the stall that is likely to harbour the highest levels of bacteria, claims the publication.
The study also reveals that when the middle cubicles are occupied, women tend to choose a stall further away from the door – possibly to seek more privacy as Dr Oz suggests. Men, on the other hand, opt for the closest stall or urinal when the middle one is unavailable.