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Tuesday, 27 August, 2002, 00:06 GMT 01:06 UK
Gross habits 'rife in UK'
Man in underwear
Many men don't change their underwear for several days
Nose-picking, belching and passing wind in public are rife among the UK population, according to a survey.

The survey of 6,000 people was conducted as part of an exhibition entitled Grossology: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body, at the Science Museum in London.

A third of those asked about their personal habits said they picked their nose more than five times a day, and many men and women admitted not changing their underwear daily.


We should never be embarrassed about our bodies - everybody is exactly the same

Spokeswoman
Science Museum
Researchers found 34% of respondents had no shame in burping loudly in public and that 29% would pass wind indiscreetly.

On personal hygiene, the survey found that women changed their underwear more frequently than men.

Only 3% of men in Kent who were questioned admitted changing their underwear every day, compared to 78% of Welsh men and 55% of women in Dorset.

A museum spokeswoman said: "I think changing underwear is something everyone automatically assumes that everyone does and that was the most surprising result."

Overall, women were less likely to pick their noses and were more successful at controlling wind.

'We are all gross'

According to the survey, Northern Ireland has the most bad habits in the UK, with 44% confessing to picking their nose more than five times a day.

The region also topped the league for belching the most in public (44%) and passing wind (34%).

Half of the male respondents from Essex said they deliberately burped or passed wind loudly in public.

Women from Dorset were not portrayed very well by the survey - half admitted picking their nose and a similar number confessed to belching and passing wind loudly in public.

The museum spokeswoman added: "Overall, we are all pretty gross.

"But it was a fun survey and I don't think anybody should take it too seriously.

"The people who responded to the survey were being very open and really we should never be embarrassed about our bodies.

"Everybody is exactly the same."

The Grossology exhibition finishes on 6 September 6 and features animatronics and interactive exhibits exploring the way the human body works.

See also:

10 Oct 01 | England
09 Aug 02 | Entertainment
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