Mark Sisson did a good post on this a little while ago.
It might have benefits on intestinal health: heamarroids, constipation and apendicitis. These problems are much more common in westernised countries, could they be caused by not squatting rather than diet? Sitting on a modern toilet is quite an unnatural activity. However it is rather a taboo subject in most societies.
What do other people think? Has anyone had experiance of living in countries where squat toilets are still common?
asked byMatt_1 (19235)
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on April 26, 2010
at 02:15 PM
I'm in the "probably true, pragmatically difficult" camp when it comes to this.
It makes anatomical sense that squatting to poop would be the best position. If I'm on a long hike or in the woods and need to crap, I squat. But in normal life, it's kind of hard to pull off, and to be honest the difference between the two doesn't seem to be significant enough to risk falling into the toilet at work or just before you get on a plane or something.
on July 26, 2010
at 01:43 PM
We are using this one and it works like a charm. Scrap wood, build-time 5 minutes. I highly recommend giving it a try. Height is approx 30cm/12". You can turn it around and use it for other toilet shapes as well:
on May 01, 2010
at 01:31 AM
I squat in my vibrams for a no slip position with the seat up. Time saved approximately 20 minutes per day (Used to read the sports page on the throne), due to efficiency and almost no clean up. Hemorrhoid problems eliminated. I've dubbed my routine ; "Feet on the seat, Don't sit to Sh#t". Primal is not just a way of eating anymore.
on September 05, 2011
at 01:22 AM
Yep it's better. I live in China and discovered that rather than an IBS attack being a terrifying ordeal when forced to use a squatty potty, it was actually MUCH easier and faster than on a Western toilet.
In other words, IBS is such a terrible thing for westerners because we sit in such a bad, unassisted position for taking a dump.
You can do the squat on a regular toilet without any special equipment or shoes, as long as you're not fat. You just need your knees up by your chest to pressure your gut. Just tuck your heels onto the front edge of the seat and wrap your arms around your legs to hold the position. Everything will go much faster and much less painfully, and with fewer IBS aftershocks. It's really a godsend. IBS episodes can be will-to-live deathmatches, and you can drastically cut the time and intensity. Why wouldn't you??
on April 30, 2010
at 01:33 AM
I don't squat to poo, I elevate my feet by putting them on the trash can or a stool or whatever is available. This puts your body in nearly the same alignment. I heard about this a while back and gave it a try, and now I can't poop any other way!
on April 27, 2010
at 07:13 AM
Probably TMI, but I'll sometimes sit on the toilet with my feet up on the seat in a squat-like position (I blessed to be able to do an asian squat - genetics I suppose) - feels more efficient and comfortable. My husband just thinks I'm weird. :-O
on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM
Check out this video, Poopin' 2.0
It shows how to achieve this on a normal toilet.
on April 26, 2010
at 06:19 PM
If your reason for being paleo is to return to a more natural way of living, I would say that squatting would be the preferred "style" of passing a bm. For me it comes down to drawing a line between a natural way of life and enjoying modern conveniences.
I lived in South Korea for a year and spent a little time in Asia after that. Many elderly Asian people think that a Western toilet is not hygienic because it causes you to get more poo on yourself as opposed to being in a squatted position. Most toilets there are of the hole in a floor variety, so squatting is definitely a way of life over there. I'm not sure if the differences in intestinal health in Western and Eastern countries would be completely explained by squatting, but it could be one of many factors to consider. I'm sure you can find an Eastern style toilet if you looked hard enough.
on September 05, 2011
at 01:15 AM
Paleo smaeleo, its the natural way to go period!
I live in Japan, squat toilets are still common in older public toilets and old houses. Newer public toilets usually have choice of both. Almost all new houses have western toilets with bidets/washlets/shower toilets when make cleaning up a breeze and the make toilet paper look barbaric. I always go for the squat toilet if there is an option though, its the most natural way to go without doubt and for public toilets, no part of your body has to touch any part of the toilet. I usually take off one shoe, take off one pant leg, swing the whole trousers to one side put the shoe back on and go. (takes 5 secs or less) I am flexible and have good balance so its very easy. Forever taking your shoes on and off in this country, you wear slip on shoes or loosely tied sneakers which allow a for easy shoes removal.
As for knee's you just have to build up strength and flexibilty. the more you do, the easier it becomes. I had an ACL recon so it took a long time to get the full ROM in my knee to comfortably squat gain.
on October 23, 2010
at 05:02 PM
I've been trying the "squatty potty" "primal pooping"...my husband thinks I have officially lost my marbles. So far it has been pretty uneventful other than the one time one water droplet came all the way up and splashed me in the face. :-O
on July 25, 2010
at 06:30 PM
I found a looong article on this: http://www.naturesplatform.com/health_benefits.html
It's hosted by a company that sells squatting platforms, so take it with a grain of salt, but just about every argument you could use in favor of squatting is in there, including about 40 references.
Given that colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the Western world, I'd say this is a pretty important topic!
on September 28, 2011
at 02:41 PM
I lift up the seat and squat on the toilet base, no need for fancy toilets or stools.
on September 04, 2011
at 11:00 PM
I don't squat to go to the bathroom but I do like the Asian squat when I'm resting. My only concern is rising from the squat; my knees ache when I'm coming out of the squat. No one ever talks about how to come out of the squat. Are my knees just weak and not used to holding the squat position or am I doing something wrong?
on August 26, 2010
at 02:50 PM
Good overview of the question at Slate.com today, complete with a reference to the Paleo diet...
on April 30, 2010
at 05:35 AM
When my son has a hard time passing a bm, I have him put his feet up on the toilet seat, and it solves the problem :)
on April 28, 2010
at 03:00 PM
I don't think my knees would allow it....
on April 28, 2010
at 02:28 AM
when i was in my vegetarian/vegan/raw life, i knew many who did the squat poo. i was never coordinated enough, thank goodness.jem
on August 04, 2015
at 02:03 AM
I have been using the squat position for a few months. I have a squat potty stool in my bathroom, and also a travel one! I don't care how ridiculous I look, it gets the job done.
on July 30, 2015
at 04:08 AM
I am 31 years old and have been squatting to poop ever since I was 6. I don't know what initially made me start pooping this way, but I've never been able to poop any other way. When I went to college I had the worst time trying to poop in the main bathrooms. I would have to sit down and I noticed that I wasn't able to push out my bowels without straning to get everything out. I always thought that I had an issue. Little did I know that this is the most natural way to defecate. America is so behind other countries that use squatting toilets that were implemented decades before the thoughts ever crossed American minds. If we were left to fend in the wild, we would have to go back to our natural way of doing things. Squatting to poop has to be the most comfortable way of getting a full release of the everything that's stopping you up.
on March 01, 2012
at 05:57 AM
I have been pooping this way since I was a little girl. We always just thought I was wierd but I couldn't go any other way. Now at 35 yrs old I find out I am not alone :)
on February 13, 2012
at 12:41 PM
I use the stool but I find that my feet fall asleep quickly and it obviously gets in comfortable in that position. Any one else have this problem and any suggestions to fix it? I'm actually pretty flexible so I dont think its a flexibility issue.
on February 10, 2012
at 01:04 AM
LOL I brought this up a day ago in another thread, I wonder if I inspired your comment Chrissie LOL. This is the best way to go to the bathroom because when sitting down you are attempting to relax your muscles but these are the muscles which need to be involved in the process. S*itting down, sorry excuse my French LOL, pinches your nerves and muscles and prevents them from working properly as well as folds your muscles from expressing themselves correctly or functioning well. This also is the case for the muscles in your tract, which is not good to do when it is supposed to move stuff out. And this also effects the shape of your stuff, and impacts it, which is not good at all. When people have laughed about it when I talked about it and said it was just weird, I laughed because it is the natural thing to do and sitting down is just a function typical of modern society to find comfort and convenience in everything even at the expense of paralyzing the muscles we need to use.
on February 09, 2012
at 10:27 PM
I really need to try this out. I am sick of the hemorrhoid! Thanks for the advice everyone!
on September 28, 2011
at 05:01 PM
I have a issue with using this technique. My morning BM's usually last for 25-30 minutes and my feet start to fall asleep if I have them up on a box or stool. Anyway around this?
on September 23, 2011
at 03:13 PM
Ive been a "squatter" for two years now. I have a hard time going now without squatting. I just feels better. my favorite way is to use a stool i found online called The Squatty Potty. I had the natures platform but it was difficult to navigate. Try this www.thesquattypotty.com