Squatting vs. Sitting: Why **IT MATTERS
A (Very) Brief History of the Modern Toilet
The flush toilet was invented in 1596. Since it would have required a complicated plumbing infrastructure, the idea simply fizzled. Finally, in the mid 1800's, English plumber Thomas Crapper made patented improvements to the centuries-old design. A series of innovations in materials and functionality quickly followed, resulting in a modern toilet that has remained virtually unchanged since the 1930's.
Toilets are convenient, but not universal.
Today, it seems unfathomable that we should empty our bowels in a hole in the ground or a chamber pot, much less a public street, all of which were common practices before toilets became standard. When you consider that the average person produces about 14 ounces of poop per day (that's 6 pounds per week, and over 300 pounds per year), the humble toilet delivers more than mere convenience. Our ancestors would be astonished that poop seems to just magically disappear!
Something else that would confound our ancestors is that we should sit, rather that squat, to poop. Our ancestors squatted to poop because there were no toilets, to be sure, but also because the human body is designed to poop in a squatting position. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that about two thirds of the world's population, that's 4 billion people, still squat to poop.
Would you ever poop standing up?
It's unlikely that anyone would, because intuitively we know that it wouldn't work very well. While you may not be aware of it, your bowel is equipped with a mechanism to prevent you from pooping while standing, which, thankfully, allows you to go about your activities without worrying about a pooping mishap. This mechanism is in the form of a muscle called the puborectalis muscle. This muscle wraps around the lower portion of your bowel, tightening it shut to prevent waste from passing beyond this point. Relaxing the puborectalis muscle causes the bowel to expand and extend, allowing waste to continue to travel through the bowel and out of the body.
When you're standing, the puborectalis muscle is engaged, and poop is contained in your bowel. The puborectalis muscle is also engaged when you're lying down, standing on your head, doing cartwheels, dancing to Young the Giant, driving your car or sitting down. And yes, that includes sitting on a toilet.
Squatting Vs. Sitting: Science Weighs InWarning: The following contains anatomical details which could make some readers queasy. But it's really interesting.
Having been accepted as a mundane, albeit necessary, artifact, the toilet is paid no particular attention beyond our need to find one when we need one. One curious doctor, however, devised an experiment that put the toilet to the test. Dr. Rad Saeed, a radiologist at the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in Iran, conducted clinical trials to compare sitting and squatting in their effectiveness for emptying the bowel.1
Participants were asked to complete a bowel movement while squatting, and another while sitting on a toilet. Prior to their eliminations, participants were administered barium, a contrast agent that coats the lining of the intestinal tract in order to make it clearly visible on x-rays. X-rays were then taken during elimination in both positions.
The x-rays showed that the average distance between the pelvic floor2 and the perineum3 when squatting was 8.4 centimeters, and 6.6 centimeters when sitting. Dr. Saeed attributes the difference to the participants having to strain to poop when sitting on the toilet, causing the pelvic floor to be pushed downward.
When squatting, the puborectalis muscle relaxed completely, allowing the rectum to widen and align with the anal canal, resulting in the easy passage of waste. When using the toilet, the puborectalis muscle did not fully relax, resulting in the rectum remaining bent, which restricted the passage of waste and caused participants to strain to achieve elimination.
It's worth noting that a full 25% drop in the position of the pelvic floor occurred with a single use of the toilet. Over time, a sagging pelvic floor can adversely affect the pelvic nerves that help control the bladder, bowel, uterus and prostate. Also, over time, straining to poop can lead to diverticula4, fissures5 and hemorrhoids6.
Dr. Saeed concluded that compared to sitting, squatting not only promotes a quicker, easier and more complete elimination, it considerably reduces the risk of developing a number of bowel and pelvic conditions.
- 1 https://www_toilet-related-ailments.com
- 2 The pelvic floor is a hammock of muscles and connective tissue in the lower abdomen that supports the abdominal and pelvic organs to keep them in place.
- 3 The perineum is the area between the anus and the vagina or testes.
- 4 Small, poop-filled sacs that form along the colon wall
- 5 Small tears in the mucus membrane that surrounds the anus
- 6 Swollen veins in the rectum or around the anus
Squatting Be Darned, The Toilet Is Here To Stay.
That's a problem.
In the sitting position, the puborectalis muscle wraps around the lower end of the bowel, pinching it shut to prevent the passage of waste, which results in the need to strain or an incomplete elimination.
Stoolie, your simple solution.
By adjusting your body to the perfect pooping position, Stoolie releases the puborectalis muscle, resulting in an easier, quicker and more complete elimination. Plus, Stoolie is super simple to use.