Are you pooping wrong?
(Yes, we just seriously asked that question—poop is a big part of overall health!)
Our ancestors did it. People in Asia, Africa and some parts of Europe still do it. So how did we end up deviating from the natural way to go to the bathroom?
“Blame it on the modern toilet,” says Robert Edwards, creator of the Squatty Potty, a device that allows you to simulate the squatting position, but on the comfort and familiarity of your own toilet.
Squatting to eliminate? This may sound like quackery, but there is empirical evidence that suggests that we all should be paying more attention to our bathroom posture. Simply put, squatting to poop is easier and healthier on the body.
Robert is hardly the first to feel strongly about the need for a change in toilet posture. Doctors, naturopaths and assorted holistic health professionals have pointed out the hazards of the modern toilet for years.
“There is definitely some physiologic sense to squatting,” says gastroenterologist Anish Sheth, MD, co-author of the books What’s Your Poo Telling You? and What’s My Pee Telling Me? “We should all be squatting; it straightens out the colon.”
Worldwide, two-thirds of the population still squat to eliminate, and digestive ailments from constipation and hemorrhoids to diverticulitis and appendicitis are all but unknown. In fact, these ailments commonly linked to diet might actually have much more to do with toilet posture.
Let’s review the mechanics of going to the bathroom: People can control their defecation, to some extent, by contracting or releasing the anal sphincter. But that muscle can’t maintain continence on its own. The body also relies on a bend—between the rectum—where feces is stored—and anus—where feces comes out. When we are standing, the extent of this angle is about 90 degrees, which puts upward pressure on the rectum and keeps the feces inside. In a squatting posture the bend straightens out, like a kink ringed out of a garden hose and defecation becomes easier.
Squatting isn’t only for digestive health. Squatting during elimination has also been shown to improve pelvic floor health.
“Most pelvic floor disorders are tied to the de-evolution of our normal evolutionary biology,” says Dr. Jack Kruse, optimal health coach and Nashville, Tenn.-based neurosurgeon. “Correcting our bathroom posture through such devices as the Squatty Potty can be a huge help to people suffering from these health problems. It makes a tremendous amount of sense with how we should eliminate.”
Lest you think this post doesn’t apply to you, consider your odds. Although you may not have hemorrhoids, constipation or a pelvic floor disorder now, statistically speaking, it’s probably in your future…if you don’t make changes. This simple solution of elevating your feet comes with loads of prevention and for its low price, it’s well worth it. Those who do suffer from chronic constipation, hemorrhoids or pelvic floor disorders will agree.
Let’s talk about poop! What are your thoughts on bathroom time and the Squatty Potty?