What's so good about squatting on the toilet?

Author: Corinne Bett   Date Posted:2 October 2015 

To sit or to squat (on the toilet)…That is the question!

How do you choose to poo when you go to the loo? Most of us will do the good old fashioned sit down, read the newspaper perhaps while we wait, and voila! You have your poo. Sometimes it’s a smooth transition, and Mr Hankey slips straight into the toilet bowl. Sometimes some of us strain, or find it really difficult to defecate.

Well, what if I told you there is a better way to poo? Our bodies aren’t actually designed to sit the way we do on the toilet, with our legs the same level as our bottom and sphincter. We should ideally be positioned in a squatting position, with our legs elevated and our bottom situated lower than our hips.

Have you been to Asia? Squatting toilets are all the rage there, and for good reason! Keep reading below for why this is the case, and some friendly faecal tips for getting the most out of your toilet time.

Gravity is your friend Gravity works wonders when it comes to squatting on the toilet when you need to cleanse the colon. By squatting, the thighs are pressed against the torso and compress the colon. This gentle pressure alongside pressure from the diaphragm and our friend Gravity, will get things going for you. Try squatting right now, and see how long it takes before you need to pass your poo.

Number Two Squatting allows all the internal defecating machinery to get in the right position to pass a healthy number two. It relaxes the muscles in the rectal area, and allows the anorectal angle to straighten, so you can empty your bowel completely. It lifts the sigmoid colon which straightens the kink at the entrance to the rectum, and also simultaneously closes the inlet valve from the small intestines and opens the outlet valve to the rectum.

This ensures a healthy passage of stool, with no backlog of faeces into the small intestine and a free passage of the stool. When we defecate in a seated position, these optimal pooing positions of our gastrointestinal tract are not always possible, which can mean incomplete emptying, straining and difficult passage of stool.

A better way to wee For the ladies, urinary flow is often stronger and the bladder is emptied completely when squatting as compared with sitting or hovering over the toilet. So squatting is also a better way to way to urinate!

So…um…..how do I squat on the toilet? Well you could place your feet on the toilet seat, and squat that way. Although the people you share the toilet with might not be overly impressed, and you would need super good balance to ensure you didn’t fall in or off mid motion, that could get very messy! Or if you were super keen, build an Asian style squat toilet in your house.

Alternatively, you could consider investing in a ‘squatty potty’ or ‘easy stool’. These are a small stool that you place alongside your toilet, that you use to place your feet on and which allows you to raise your knees. You still sit on the toilet seat, but lean forward a little to mimic the squatting position. Check them out!

So are you up for the squatting challenge? Take a load off...Give it a go, your bowel will thank you!  

Written by Corinne Bett

Corinne spent her childhood helping her mother and grandfather in the garden grow various herbs and vegetables. This sparked a great interest in herbal medicine and nutrition in later life, and a passion for a wholefood diet. As a Naturopath today, she likes to empower others to utilise food as medicine, and live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. In her spare time she like to spend time in nature bushwalking and swimming, adventuring in far and exotic places, and dreaming about what kind of dog she might like to have one day.