How often should you poo each day?

Font Size:

Everyone poos. And although there are many experts who have their take on how often you should poo, the fact is that the frequency may vary according to the individual.

But there is a point where your lack of bowel movement should be a cause for concern.

First, let’s get down to basics.

Human faeces are a mixture of 75 per cent water, food, bacteria, protein, indigestible fibre and waste from your liver and intestines.

The average person poos once a day, but anywhere from three times a week to three times a day can be considered normal, depending on the consistency of the waste matter. In short, your poo should neither be too hard nor too soft.

A survey of 2000 poopers, conducted by Healthline, revealed the following bowel movement patterns:

  • around 50 per cent poo once a day
  • 28 per cent go twice a day
  • 5.6 per cent go once or twice weekly
  • 61.3 per cent poo in the morning
  • 22 per cent reported go in the afternoon
  • 2.6 percent poo late at night
  • around 31 per cent reported consistency similar to that of a sausage or snake, and of a smooth and soft consistency. 

How often you poo depends on your diet; that is, how much you eat and what you eat.

Western digestive systems, which are typically low in fibre, will evacuate less than Eastern digestive systems, which are typically high in fibre.

Your bowel movements remove waste build-up from your system, cleaning your colon and eliminating toxic build-up. So, it goes without saying that this process is important.

The food you eat – a healthy diet – is the most effective way to remove these toxins from your body, and regular bowel movements are essential to this process. If you feel you don’t poo enough, there’s always the option of taking laxatives or having a colon cleanse, although these alternatives, used long term, can disrupt your natural digestive processes.

As you age, you may be more likely to become constipated. This is due to reduced gastric movement and reduced mobility, both of which encourage digestion. Sometimes medications can cause constipation, too. For more regular bowel movements, eat more fibre, drink more water and try to increase your physical activity.

When should you worry about your bowel movements?
The only time you need to worry about your bowel movements is when they suddenly change and the change lasts for longer than a week. If you poo three times a day then suddenly you don’t poo for three days, it could be something as minor as a change in diet, constipation, or it could be a sign of something more serious, such as irritable bowel syndrome or worse, colon cancer. If you happen to see blood in your stool, or suffer severe abdominal pain, you should quickly get to a GP to have it checked out.

At the very least, you may need to revisit your diet or lifestyle choices.

How often do you poo? Have you ever worried about your digestion (or lack thereof)?

Health disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.


What your poo says about you

A quick sneak at your stools could give you heads up that something is amiss.

Stool banking: should you make a deposit?

What exactly is stool banking and what can it do for you?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Sign-up to the YourLifeChoices Enewsletter

continue reading


How much of a risk are microplastics?

Perhaps you've seen headlines saying we consume a credit card's worth of microplastics a week, or that microplastics have been...


Friends, family and Aunty Maud

Columnist Peter Leith has always been one to take time to talk, lobby and observe. In this true short story,...


Podcast with leading Melbourne podiatrist

They take you thousands of kilometres, but we probably look after our car tyres better than we look after our...


Travel SOS: When will cruising restart in Australia?

With the travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand set to reopen, will we see cruising restart earlier than expected?...


Air New Zealand's blueprint for post-COVID travel

Air New Zealand's trial a digital health pass on flights to Australia could be the blueprint for future digital 'vaccine...


Eastern Europe is an untapped tourism goldmine

Mass tourism has been creeping east across Europe for some years - hen parties in Prague, backpackers in Budapest, and...


Off the beaten track destinations to visit before everyone does

Like a motorist complaining about the traffic, the modern traveller goes to great lengths to avoid fellow tourists. Authenticity has...


Self-guided tour of Melbourne, Milawa and Nagambie Lakes

Whether you're visiting from interstate or if you're a local, on this nine-day self-guided itinerary from Tourism Australia, you 'll...