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Five Reasons to Squat Instead of Sit


You may not have known this, but the most dangerous object in your house just might be… your potty! Yes, we know this may come to you as a surprise, but the john you use every day to read the paper, check your phone messages or verify your standings in fantasy football may be doing some damage to your bowels. The commode has morphed into a place for solitude and escape, but spending quality time in the W.C. may be the source of your constipation.

When it comes to the can, you were designed to squat and not to sit. The reason is rooted in simple anatomy. Your colon has a natural bend or kink that helps you maintain continence and regularity, but sitting on the toilet partially relaxes the tight muscles around the colon. This closes what is known as the anorectal angle and blocks the flow of waste to make you constipated along with the 63 million other Americans. This results in 5.3 million prescriptions and $700 million spent on—you guessed it—laxatives, which are detrimental to your long-term digestive health.

We may make fun of our primitive ancestors or our friends overseas who favor the squat over the sit. It’s true that their privy may not be as comfy as your throne when it comes to posting a status update on Facebook, but sadly, we’re the ones who are weak in the poop and come away from the loo “brokenhearted" (Source: Squatty Potty).

Besides constipation, the other problems with sitting on the crapper instead of squatting are:

  • Hemorrhoids. By the age of 50, about half of all Americans have experienced hemorrhoids. Sitting in the toilet keeps the anorectal angle in the closed position and causes straining.
  • Colon disease. Not being able to eliminate fully can cause fecal buildup and result in colon disease.
  • Urinary difficulties/infections. Urine flow is stronger when squatting.  An empty bladder helps prevent urinary tract infections.
  • Pelvic floor issues. Keeping the anorectal angle open will prevent straining and help maintain pelvic floor strength.

If you are suffering from constipation, talk to your doctor. Increasing fiber in your diet and upping your water intake could make a significant difference. That does not remedy the sit vs. squat problem, though. Elevating your feet with a stepstool about 7 inches off the ground can open up the anorectal angle and simulate a squatting position, so you may want to try this adaptation. You may also want to take a look at this fancy stool called the Squatty Potty and their promotional video that recently went viral. We promise that you will laugh out loud, and you will never look at pooping the same!

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posted on November 9, 2015 in news