By WIN Contributor: Tania Mannella, Doctor of Physiotherapy
Would you believe that there is actually a "proper" way to go #1 and #2? And our standard toilets are not the best way.
Most cultures around the world favour the squatting position. Sitting on our standard toilets do not put us in this position. Squatting helps to align our anatomy, which optimizes urination and defecation. For some, this misalignment can lead to many issues that we may not even think of.
The squat position is the natural way to complete a bowel movement because it significantly increases the anal rectal angle which reduces any “kinks” in the pathway. When we sit, our “kink” increases which causes some people to strain to defecate fully.....potentially leading to hemorrhoids...😝 When we squat, the angle increases, allowing a straighter pathway for our stool to pass through.
There are some major issues that can arise when sitting on the toilet...
Some people may experience urinary issues. With a squatting posture, urinary flow is easier and stronger. When women squat to urinate, the bladder is able to empty more completely which can reduce the risk for urinary tract infections!
Another problem that can arise are pelvic floor issues. The sitting position causes increased pressure on the rectal angle, which then can cause the colon to push on the vaginal muscles. Squatting reduces this pressure and reduces pressure on pelvic floor nerves.
Constipation stems from not eating a proper diet in combination with lack of water intake that our bodies need. If we combine this with poor toilet posture, the result may be poor elimination of waste due to hard dry stools that are very difficult to push out.
Dreaded hemorrhoids can also become an issue with sitting on a toilet. When stool is hard, we have to push hard to get it out. This strain increases the pressure which can cause hemorrhoids.
The last noteworthy issue is colon disease. A build up of faeces in the colon can be a cause of disease including colon cancer if this becomes a longstanding concern. This build up reduces our ability to absorb nutrients. So... if we don’t sit properly, and don’t release this waste properly, we build up waste inside our colons which may lead to other more significant digestive heath concerns.
The good news is, a positive change can be made very quickly! There is an easy and practical home strategy. Very simply, placing a step stool close to the toilet, and resting the feet on it, while sitting on the toilet, puts the body into that proper alignment. This is very similar to using a "Squatty Potty"! (Google "Squatty Potty" for more info if you've not already heard of it!)
PUZZLED ABOUT POOPING POSITION? LET'S TALK...
If you have any questions about toileting posture, constipation, or any sort of pelvic floor issues we have answers. These are common health problems that can have big impact of your health. The team at WIN Health Solutions are comfortable discussing these delicate heath matters with you so that you can be informed, empowered and experience your most optimal health.
For more support and information, visit with a WIN Physiotherapy team member and we'll provide the health education and care that you need.