Benefits Of Squatting When Going To The Bathroom

How do you go to the bathroom? For most people in the Western world the answer would be sitting on the toilet. However, some people from Asia, Africa, or the Middle East will tell you that squatting is the best way to go to the bathroom and you can still find squat toilets there as a part of daily life. Should you be squatting too?

One of the changes that was brought about by the western industrialization was the posture to go to the bathroom. Squatting was the original posture, and most of the world still uses this posture. Toilets became popular in the early 19th century, and they were developed for convenience and sanitation reasons.

Benefits Of Squatting When Going To The Bathroom

The posture you assume while going to the bathroom can have an effect on how much you defecate as well as how healthy your body is. While sitting may be more comfortable for some people, others find that either squatting on their own or by using devices such as the Squatty Potty, can have great health benefits that make it worthwhile.

First, emptying the bowels is easier in a squatting position. This is because the puborectalis muscle is allowed to fully relax and that allows the rectum to easily release feces. The puborectalis muscle acts as a choke for the rectum and allows us to maintain continence. Sitting allows the muscle to relax a little, but squatting allows it to relax completely and allows for full straightening of the rectum.

Squatting may also be easier on the cardiovascular system than sitting. This is because less force is required to defecate. When force is required, the airway is closed and the breath is held, which can trap blood in veins and prevent it from entering the chest as well as the right atrium. When the force is released the airway is opened, the pressure drops, and all the blood that was trapped moves through the heart quickly and increases the heart rate and blood pressure. This has been known to cause death.

Sitting And Common Digestive Ailments A Coincidence?

If you don’t care about how easy it is to go to the bathroom, then you may care about the potential health risks that improper elimination can cause. Bloating, constipating, IBS, colon disease, and hemorrhoids are more of a Western concern where toilets are mainstream. While diet may have a lot to do with it, it is obvious that the type of toilets and colon issues seem to be correlated and is something that should definitely be taken into consideration.

For instance, hemorrhoids are commonly caused by straining while going to the bathroom or sitting for long periods on the toilet. Straining could easily be solved by squatting while going to the bathroom.

“Haemorrhoids are an extremely common problem, especially in western countries, where surveys suggest that as much as half of the population over 40 years of age may suffer some form of mild to severe discomfort from them.” – Brain Martin

Whether you believe that sitting could be causing any digestive issues you are having or not, it is obvious that the benefits of squatting when going to the bathroom may be worth the attempt to change the way we defecate.