It’s one the most natural things we do but have we been doing it wrong this whole time? According to research, scientists have found the right way to poo and the wrong way.
And it turns out we have not been doing it as we were meant to.
If you’ve ever been to Indonesia, or even India, you’ll remember those infamous squat toilets. We thought they were absurd but the position you are in on a squat toilet is optimal for defecating.
In our Western countries with knee-high toilets, it seems that these are not allowing our bowels to straighten. Our bodies are designed so that when we stand or sit down, our lower gut kinks and stops us from pooing without warning, sort of like a gate. But we’ve become accustomed to sitting down and going to the toilet, which is counterintuitive – our body is defying its natural instinct to hold it in when we sit.
According to scientists, nature has enabled us to easily poo when we squat, and doing it any other way is damaging our bodies.
“1.2 billion people around the world who squat have almost no incidence of diverticulosis and fewer problems with piles. We in the west, on the other hand, squeeze our gut tissue until it comes out of our bottoms”, Giulia Enders, writer of ‘Darm mit charme’ (Charming Bowels in German), told The Guardian.
But all of this isn’t new – a 2003 study found that squatting to do a number two was the most satisfactory way to do it, compared to sitting. Apparently, sitting requires excessive effort whereas squatting is quite easy and requires little pushing.
So, how can you adjust your habits to protect your bowels? Enders suggests putting a little stool in front of your bowl to elevate your feet will assist.