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Sitting or Squatting: What's Really Best in the Bathroom?

At Mothering, we're always looking for natural ways to improve our health - especially the parts of our body that we aren't always comfortable talking about.  Robert Edwards, creator of the Squatty Potty, has developed a simple, all-natural way to improve colon health and ward off hemorrhoids and constipation - squatting!  Read our Q&A with Edward below to learn more.

 

 

Q: What is the Squatty Potty and why was it developed?

 
A: The Squatty Potty is a simple solution to a modern problem. The problem is our modern toilets require we sit to do our business, but we are actually meant to SQUAT. Doctors, naturopaths and assorted holistic health professionals have pointed out the hazards of the modern toilet for years. 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. These ailments, which are commonly linked to diet, might actually have much more to do with toilet posture.
 
Blame in on the modern toilet.  That’s why we created the Squatty Potty, a device that marries the health benefits of the squatting position with the convenience of our western toilet. 
 
Q: How does the Squatty Potty work?
 
A:  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 it’s 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, the colon opens and defecation becomes more efficient.
 
Q: In What Ways is the Squatty Potty beneficial to health?
 
A:  It’s all about the flow. Slowed digestion and constipation can lead to other physical problems.  A recent article in the New York Times claimed that among the disorders associated with chronic constipation are multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injuries, diabetes, underactive thyroid, excessive calcium in the blood, lupus and scleroderma. Other problems may directly involve the colon or rectum, including tumors, scar tissue, strictures and abnormalities in hormones, nerves or muscles that are involved in colonic function.
 
We at Squatty Potty are hardly the first to advocate for a change in toilet posture. Many doctors agree. “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? “Simply put, it straightens out the colon.”
 
Q: Can it help pregnant moms? Could it assist in avoiding pelvic floor issues, constipation and/or hemorrhoids? 
 
A: Squatting is excellent for the health of an expectant mother and her baby. Squatting makes elimination faster and more complete, helping with inflammatory bowel diseases and helping to avoid the build up of toxins in the colon, which can help give your baby a cleaner and healthier environment.
 
Squatting during elimination has been shown to improve pelvic floor health. “Most pelvic floor disorders are tied to the de-evolution of our normal evolutionary biology,” said Dr. Jack Kruse, optimal health coach and Nashville-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.”

 

 
Q: Can small children use It? Is it safe and healthy for them?
 
Children love the Squatty Potty. It gives them a safe place for their feet and helps support them when going. It works better than a regular step stool because its wider, higher and hugs the toilet and simulates the natural squatting posture much better. 
 
We have many testimonials from mothers that have finally been able to relieve their child's chronic constipation as well as get over the hump of potty training with the use of squatty potty. The squatty potty is totally safe and 100% natural. 
 

Learn more at SquattyPotty.com.  Mothering Members receive $5 off with code "Mothering5"!

 

Comments (8)

This is utterly ridiculous. Implying in any way that squatting to poo could reduce spinal cord injuries and Parkinson's disease would be laughable if it wasn't so pathetic.
C'mon MDC. Do better.
While the company may stretch the side effects of western toilets, the benefits of squatting are overwhelming. We don't even have to go into colon health, we could just talk about the strength of the pelvic floor, and that should be enough for EVERY woman to resume this practice.
We purchased one recently and really enjoy the new elimination posture. It is helping with my sciatic nerve pain and it can be used to stretch out the lower back, thighs and gluts during a quick potty break.
Ever since I got pregnant I've found myself propping up one leg on the bathtub beside the toilet almost instinctually to help. And at times in the past when I've had GI issues I remember bringing a small foot stool into the bathroom for comfort. I had never thought about the evolution of of the elimination posture, but some of this really resonates with me. I agree with some other commenters that the company is taking too many liberties with their health claims, but I'm ordering one because with the coupon it comes to $35 with shipping. Not bad for daily comfort and even minor health/posture benefits. My body seems to telling me it prefers that posture anyway!
I am definitely interested in one of these. A squat helps us.
Biomechanists have been saying this for years. You'd be surprised what your alignment during elimination can affect. I don't know about Parkinson's, but it definitely affects things like uterine prolapse and chronic lower back pain. For real research, look at www.alignedandwell.com
The Japanese squat and they have one of the best life expectancies if the world. My father passed away from colon cancer 6 years ago. I would give this a try. It couldn't hurt! I plan on ordering one soon.
I got a squatty potty a few months ago... Best thing I ever did for my behind! I can honestly say this product changed my life. Suffice it to say, my elimination has become much more predictable & less painful as a result of using the squatty potty. Four words to sum up why I love this thing so much.... No more hemorrhoids... EVER! It's not exactly comfortable anymore to poop on a regular toilet- which I believe is my body's way of saying "You should have purchased the squatty potty sooner." Maybe some of the health benefits are a bit overstated, but the squatty potty will change your life... or at least your comfort level while pooping.
Mothering › Health Articles › Sitting Or Squatting Whats Really Best In The Bathroom