Health Alert: You're Taking a Crap Wrong! This Is How You Poop Properly

You're Taking a Crap Wrong! This Is How You Poop Properly

Your entire life has been a lie. Mario does not hit blocks with his head, footlong subs are never really 12 inches long, and those paper ketchup cups at fast food joints aren't just little cups. And that's not the worst of it. What I'm about to tell you next is the revelation of all revelations.

You're Taking a Crap the Wrong Way

Yeah, you read that right. We've been going to the bathroom wrong since the rise of Western civilization, and the creation of the modern pedestal toilet has only cemented this incorrect usage deeper into our genes.

Don't worry, little Udo over here is shocked at what he's learning, too. Image by Juhan Sonin/Flickr

How to Poop Properly

According to Rebekah Kim, a colorectal surgeon at the Center for Pelvic Floor Disorders at Virginia Hospital Center, squatting can reduce the amount of straining on a toilet. Recent studies have even shown that using this more "natural" position for your number two will require less "excessive expulsive effort" and can significantly cut down on defecation time.

What's more astonishing is that this idea isn't very new. People have been squatting when nature calls since, well, before humans were even humans. And while it hasn't been very common in the US for a very long time, the medical community has actually fought for the squat. According to Bockus Gastroenterology, the standard textbook on the subject written by Dr. Henry L. Bockus back in 1964:

The ideal posture for defecation is the squatting position, with the thighs flexed upon the abdomen. In this way the capacity of the abdominal cavity is greatly diminished and intra-abdominal pressure increased, thus encouraging expulsion of the fecal mass.

The reason for this is the puborectalis muscle.

In the Encyclopedia of Gastroenterology, William E. Whitehead says that the puborectalis is a sling muscle that loops around the rectum and "can be voluntarily contracted to further pinch off the rectum from the anal canal and prevent accidental passage of formed stool."

Basically, it acts like a drawstring for your rectum and maintains continence. When you sit on the toilet, its hold on the rectum is loosened, but only partially. When you're squatting, however, the hold is completely relaxed, allowing for an easier time releasing your bowels.

Image by Squatty Potty/YouTube

So, squatting obviously helps you poop more easily and faster, but some would even go so far as to say that the squat technique is also good for preventing bowel ailments such as colitis, hemorrhoids, constipation, colon cancer, and even appendicitis.

This is something Squat Potty, makers of the footstool of the same name that helps you "squat" easily on modern day porcelain toilets, likes to embellish in their promotional material. However, there has been no significant research that supports any of those reports, as Rebekah Kim has stated, aside from maybe constipation. Squatting doesn't even help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer like some rumors let on.

Despite any real proof of its preventative health benefits, there's no denying that squatting makes defecation faster with less effort. Combined with a good healthy diet, your bowels don't stand a chance at causing issues with you in the future.

While full-on squatting has the most medical research behind it, Squatty Potty has made it easier to transition to grown-up pooping with a footstool (not a stool stool) that allows you to simulate squatting on your own sitting toilet. Heck, you can even improvise and make your own DIY footstool for more proper poops.

A footstool of some sort also prevents you from having to install a proper squat toilet that's the popular choice for catching feces in Asian and African countries. If you can't do a full squat on the toilet, even a semi-squat can be beneficial. It may be awkward at first, and a bit embarrassing, but it'll make things easier for you when nature calls.

A Pooping Revolution

It's never easy to change the way you've done something for a lifetime, but I'll put this whole thing in perspective for you.

We sit comfortably on the toilet just like we eat junk food comfortably. We eat junk food because it's everywhere and tastes delicious, in that guilty sort of way. Similarly, our current bathroom posture is effortless, comforting, and even allows us to text and play games on the toilet. But junk food isn't good for you. Meanwhile, carrots, spinach, and peas are good for your body, but let's face it — they don't taste like French fries.

Squatting and sitting are similarly related. Squatting is the not-so-great tasting vegetable that keeps us healthy. We grow out of being force-fed vegetables as kids to eating them as adults because we know they're good for us (at least, I hope you do), so why not change the way we poop, too?

Image by Squat Potty/YouTube

And while I'm at it, you should probably know that pooping isn't the only thing you're doing wrong in the restroom.

Cover photo by Tuomas Lehtinen/123RF

100 Comments

The French have different toilets, which obligate you to a squatting position while taking a dump:

Image via blogspot.com

I wonder how they poop so accurately?
Especially when having diarrhea

I signed up to appreciate the appreciation of this Iverson reference.

I signed up to appreciate the appreciation of the appreciation of the appreciation of this Iverson reference.

I second that Iverson appreciation.

Haha, good question. I wouldn't want to be wearing sandals either. And what about the ol' poo and pee and the same time combo?

There's no way I'm giving up the combo to squat

if this is all true, then I'm guessing it just flows out since there is no constipation and you won't have to push. But, not to say there are those days when things are just.... nuts.

OK - so I first came across a disgustingly dirty one of these toilets in a very old train station in Greece whilst experiencing some significant intestinal "issues". I thought "oh dear this is going to get very nasty", with mental images of clothes etc touching less than sanitary surfaces and unusual splash back due to aforementioned "issues". I have to say that the device functioned perfectly well with no requirement for a change of clothes even with a "power" evacuation! Sorry - no pics as evidence of this testimony...

Don't need pic's you imaged it very well!!!

They don't! Trust me, I live here.

4 trips to France over a period of a decade (my girls are there now). Never saw one of those. Just regular toilets.

this is not French Toilet but turkich toilets, even though we used to use them in publics bsthroom, they are use all over the world , the only problem isthe flush !

That's not correct. We usually have one stall out of ten looking like that and most people avoid it.

They call those "Turkish toilets" and you usually only find them in bars or random places...I've never known anyone who had one in their home, and I lived in France on two separate occasions...they use modern toilets in their homes and most places of business. Ironically though sometimes the "Turkish toilets" are cleaner than regular Western toilets in public places...since there is no expectation that your butt will make contact with anything...

"And when you go Kaka they make you stand up! (In France) Way down in France)". Zappa

Robert your a genius! I want you to consider running for public office.

These Turkish toilets are very popular in Italian restaurants, bars and toilets... even at ski resorts. Believe me , they are a challenge to use while wearing ski boots, or if you have bad knees.

ALL the toliets here in China re the same, just holes in the ground.. Im aussie and when I went to the local plumber to get my toilette changed over to a normal real tolet the plumbers got upset saying the loo i had was perfectly fine.. yeah for them!... not me!.. but you gotta get used to it in any case as barely any place else apart from international hotels have real toliets.. even maccas and kfc all have holes in the ground.. and its fifthly most of the time as no one is good at squatting it seems :(

Quit your whinging. If it's so unbearable for you, go back to Australia where they have "real" toilets, you prima donna.

If apes could talk, I suppose theyed tell us alot of things we humans have been doing wrong for years! And maybe a lot of now extinct animals would still be sharing our earth with us?

Gorillas eat their poop, as the first round of digestion doesn't absorb all the vitamins and minerals. Perhaps we should do the same?

We should eat the gorilla's poop?

Do not Under any circumstances eat human Poop! you Will get sick and you will die!

who do i contact about getting back that five minutes of my life?

I think I just lost 10, of mine and am still trying to catch my breath!!!!!
LOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!

Shit Happens. Carry on.

"Ailments such as constipation, hemorrhoids, and appendicitis have increased since the adaption of the modern toilet."

There have been countless other changes since the invention of the modern toilet. Have you ever heard of confounding variables?

"Civilized" countries have a high rate of hip fractures in the elderly, many resulting in death. In "poor" countries, hip fractures are uncommon.

This is all thanks for the 16 inch "throne".
Squatting is natural and promotes strong hip muscles.

That is actually more related to diet but there are many factors involved. A western diet causes the body to become acidic which is an environment that promotes disease. The fastest way for the body to correct this is to use the bones as an alkali base. Over time the bones become weakened and subject to fracture.

Funny but informative video on how to use these 'asian' toilets.

Would have been helpful to see this video before going to Iraq. At that time I would have never thought it to be an issue, always just assumed toilets were the same everywhere LOL

Your behind is wet, so you just put your suit pants back on? There's some very important info left out. How am I supposed to dry myself after all that?

"Toilet paper is dirty." Precisely. But your hand ISN'T :D

I feel repulsed by the idea that I would have to squat where other people do it. What about fat people? How do we squat, what if I fall over and land inside the cold, dirty hole? echhh...give me the eebie jeebies.

Don't be fat. And honestly, the more you squat, the easier it gets. Just do it. And stop being fat, it's bad for you.

You wouldn't be fat, if you squatted in the first place !!!

why would u feel gross about hovering over a hole as a opposed to sitting on the same toilet seat tons of other strangers sit on to crap?

How about an Automatic Toilet Washing Machine, that could clean the western WC & the eastern Squat as well. Well, we are in the business of doing that. Happy squat-in.

Automatic Toilet Washing Machine.

I don't get it. It looks like a sink with storage sections that are going to collect dust and dirt.

As a Moroccan I have 2 toilets in my house. One is European (what you guys call regular toilet), and the other is Moroccan/Turkish. The European maybe prestigious; however, the Moroccan feels more natural. Think about it this way: if you had to poop in nature wouldn't you just squat or you'd look for a chair with a hole in the middle to do the job??

I would usually look for a log to sort of hang my ass over. That way I still feel like I am sitting when I poop. But posture is not the problem when pooping in nature. Toilet paper is! lol

Use large leaves. Just make sure you know what the leaves are. Don't want to use poison ivy.

I'm Israeli. When I visited Morocco, It felt refreshingly natural to use the "Turkish" toilet. Now I always squat on the "normal" toilet seat when I shit. I have NEVER like western toilets.

If there were a chair with a hole in the middle of it, I would take it!

Build a box around your toilet flush (I mean at the same level with) with the top of the china part that way you can have the best of both worlds

Not only is squatting good for elimination - it's also great for maintaining or reclaiming mobility and diminishing back pain.

what is this nonsense? girls don't poop...:-P

If you ever go the South Korea, the toilets are on the floor and you have to straddle the thing and squat. To be truthful, I prefer them to the ones all us women hover over so as not to touch the seat.

Kind of makes me wonder if this is where "pop a squat" really came from lol! I will never forget when I went to Russia 'Sochi' on a missions trip in 1994, there was a hole in the ground and you had to put one foot on each side of the whole, do your business and hope nothing comes up and bites your butt in the process! I was 15 at the time and it was new to me...but I do see how squatting can make a difference. :) - Pop A Squat!

Ah... the memories of my years as a missionary in Russia... and some of the most weird and wonderful toilets, including a long-drop in a village where one person had to lean against it outside so it wouldn't topple over with the incumbent inside!

I once used a public restroom in Italy where it was a hallway with open stalls on either side made completely of concrete with only a hole in the ground in each stall. It was also unisex. Very interesting. lol

In the British Army, on manoeuvres, we had things called 'thunderboxes' (wonder why) which were basically just wooden luxury European style over a big, deep hole in the ground. Now - living in France I do indeed have to deal with the WC Turque - the main problem is that most of them have a flush so under pressure that your feet, shoes, are totally soaked!

Indians have used the squatting toilets since always and 90% of us continue to do so even now.

Image via dcdrunks.com

im confused...are the ridges on the side of the toilet where your feet go? and it seems that if it were a girl trying to pee...wouldnt it just run onto the floor since seems that the center slopes down to floor level...so weird

Optical illusion, I think.

looks clean & natural to me!

The same in China. But nowadays more and more families and public toilets especially in restaurants and shopping malls use the western one.

Could you not emulate the same squatting position by just leaning forward and pressing the abdomen against the thighs?

So at first, I was intrigued, then I was digusted, now i'm trying to find a stool to take a real crap for the first time.....Great job! Going to use this for a blog article in my blog. .>Thanks

I love how everyone is commenting and responding as if the discussion wasn't all about THE PROPER WAY TO TAKE A SHIT, complete with researched toilet-ography and historiography

My kind of people!

I know a lot of people have pointed this out about other countries, and probably this one too, but MOST toilets in China (not all.. not in the fancier hotels.. but most) are like this.

For the most part, once i got used to it, I preferred it. The only real issue i had was the shape of the toilet drains in china. They didn't kink in the middle (Go down, snake back up an inch or so, then snake down into the drain for good) The drain was a straight snake downward which caused smells to bubble up WAY more easily.

Wasn't a huge fan of that but after awhile and some aggressive air freshener, you just stop noticing.

Anyway, yes. SO much better for you. And bonus. When you're in a public toilet, you don't have to put your butt where the butts of others have once been. That always freaked me out about western toilets. Whereas in china, as long as you don't fall, you're in good shape.

But for the love of god... DON'T FALL... especially in the public toilets of tiny mountain villages. It'll ruin the day.

Those on the floor toilets are not French toilets, I KNOW BECAUSE I AM FRENCH!

They are actually Chinese, where you squat to poop. Squatting there is extremely common and actually considered the normal way to seat...I know that too because I lived in Beijing for 7 months

Well, we saw one of those French or Chinese squatters on our first trip to France in 2005. It was in the basement of an old-school French bistro across from Notre Dame Cathedral. And I needed to make use of it. I recall mostly that it was difficult to make a 'hole-in-one'. But it definitely existed. I've told that story many times since. lol

Bwaaa haaa haaa. This post is funny, but true. I enjoyed using the squatters in Thailand, where they don't use toilet paper. Next to each squatter there's a rinsing hose, similar to that found in most western kitchen sinks. Quite refreshing in hot weather, and much cleaner. Now you know what the Thai's mean when they say "those dirty farang (white foreigner)".

I'm not sure how I feel about the squat toilet. For one thing, it would make it harder to read in there. But if the article is correct, I wouldn't be in so long that I'd feel a need to read!

But I definitely like the idea of a rinsing hose. Of course the problem there is the same as the rinsing hose in your kitchen sink....not everything comes off the dishes with just the hose....

i came across these squat-bogs in a couple of places in my homeland - the Czech Republic, but mainly in France. EVERY motorway services we stopped at (and there were many) had these and usually one "normal" throne for the disabled (interestingly they were all seat-less - just the plain china bowl).

The strain wasn't the problem - it was the flush! Automatic and very cheeky it always started flushing when you were squatting in the phase when you just simply cannot leave.

And trust me - tsunami is just a baby compared to the waves those flushes produced.

When I was pregnant I had back up issues and always had to somehow put my feet up on a trash can, a stool, anything. Weird how my instincts were correct. It just felt like I had to do that.

And of course you have peer reviewed scientific results with a blinded clinical trail for decreases in colon cancer right?

After 5 weeks in Thailand and using this system, when I came back to the UK, using a traditional toilet felt a real strain to go, so I built a 'stool'

for my bog and every think back to normal again.

I'm American and have been living in France the past 6 years. The floor toilet is called a Turkish toilet and is used in many countries. Many public toilets are this style while at home, they're "traditional". Others are regular thrones without the raise-able seat, which really annoys me because unless you've got super model stork legs, you're going to get some thigh rubbing action on that seat anyways which is already pre-sprinkled by a stork-legged mannequin that passed before you. Also, in some older homes, there is the "bidet" which is next to the normal toilet but used to wash your bottom. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bidet It looks like a large toilet with faucets and drains. I have an IKEA stool much like the one suggested. I may just give it a go to see any differences. But I'll never be a fan of Turkish style since you have to be stable as a Yoga instructor, plus it is not clothing friendly nor if you've had a glass of wine or 2...which they are often lingering in bars...

I was originally brought to this article after someone mentioned dropping Obama off at the pool.

Needless to say, I am equally disgusted.

well somehow after reading this , I feel like doing it

What does someone do if they are disabled? Can't squat, or can't walk?

Seriously, If one can't aim properly to poop in the small designated area, then what? Does one hover above and try to aim.? Like really>

I am a Muslim and squatting posture is taught to us in our books. I swear that whatever way our Prophet has followed has been proved correct OR yet not researched upon by science. No doubt Prophet's way is the best and healthiest. Follow the link to know about his ways (sunnah) more http://rasoulallah.net/index.php/en/articles/category/269

At long last I feel vindicated for getting up on the counter and pooping into sinks. Yep, where ever I go I always squat! Even at the gas station or state parks and particularly at a bar. I do some sink straddling and let loose with the goods (it helps if you save up). It's important not to leave a mess so sometimes you have to poke it down the drain with anything handy. Fake flowers, a shoe, even your host's toothbrush- just make sure to give it a good rinse afterwards.

oh please fat people can so squat,remember Ehonda from street fighter,he was dropping in like it was hot.

Image via wonderhowto.com

I have been telling my friends this fact for years. Squatting is the way to go.........No Straining and associated problems.

I have even written a whole website dedicated to the subject of Bowels and Going to the loo. You can look it up at Emptyingthebowel.com

All the advantages of the preferred Squat posture are mentioned here.

Is this why, whenever I REEEEEAAAALLLY have to work it, I naturally lean forward? XD

Old toilets in rural Philippines are 'turkish' style. That's why in the city, you'll be surprised to see foot marks on the western style toilet bowl.

Most (90%) toilets in Thailand and Laos homes are 'turkish' style.
Public toilets in Singapore have both 'turkish' and western style.

At least one don't have to worry about plugging up the toilet. I'd be worry about losing my keys, cell phone or something else down the drain.

A bathroom door is a must as you don't want your new puppy, cat, or ferret going down the drain.

man i tried this and damn it works my shit slid out like a egg sliding through a paper towel roll covered in butter and ky jelly

Wow this is so good to know as I have read in the Consumer Health Digest that pooping sitting down can bend the colon and thus making it hard to expel everything, this means that the asians were right all along

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