A Proper Way to Poo? Squatty Potty Review

The Proper Way to Poo How Your Posture in the Loo Affects Your Health A Proper Way to Poo? Squatty Potty Review

I have to admit, when I started blogging, a post about the proper position while using the restroom was not on my list to write! Lately, I’ve come across research and resources that have convinced me that this is an important topic, and I’m going to attempt to address it while keeping the TMI to a minimum.

The Idea of Squatting

The concept of squatting when defecating is not a new one. In fact, I was quite surprised the first couple of times I saw toilets designed for this purpose when traveling. At that time, I just considered it an outdated and primitive toilet, and couldn’t understand why anyone would use one.

Fast forward a few years to my toothpaste and deodorant making, organic-cooking days and the concept actually makes a lot of sense. In fact, young children often do this naturally when eliminating (I can often tell when my one year old is about to need a diaper change because she is squatting down behind the couch).

Recently, I’ve seen posts from everyone from Dr. Mercola to Dr. Oz touting the benefits of proper bathroom posture, and even Bill Gates recently held a contest to re-design the modern toilet. Experts point out that the squatting position is more natural and can help avoid colon disease, constipation, hemorrhoids, pelvic floor issues and similar ailments. Since Colon disease runs in my family and hemorrhoids and pelvic floor issues can often be an unfortunate side effect of pregnancy, I was willing to give it a try.

The correct way to poop 300x176 A Proper Way to Poo? Squatty Potty ReviewAs this website explains: “When we’re sitting this bend, called the anorectal angle, is kinked which puts upward pressure on the rectum and keeps the feces inside. This creates the need to STRAIN in order to eliminate. Compare sitting on the toilet to a kinked garden hose, it just doesn’t work properly. In a squatting posture the bend straightens out and defecation becomes easier.

Assuming the squat position is the natural way to achieve easier and more complete elimination. Research has shown that in some people, the kink is completely gone while squatting.”

The website further explains the most common problems with modern toilet posture and how squatting can help:

5 Problems with Sitting On Your Toilet

#1: Constipation

Let’s face it: most of us don’t get the fiber we need in our diets. It’s true. And we fail to get all the water we need as well. These two things along with improper toilet posture which doesn’t allow us to eliminate completely is a bad combination that creates hard dry stools. These hard dry stools are very hard to push out. It’s called constipation, and we’ve all experienced it. Unfortunately, it’s the norm for altogether too many of us. But that’s just the beginning…

#2: Hemorrhoids

Getting those hard stools out calls for lots of pushing. And that pressure causes hemorrhoids, which can be very painful. Hemorrhoids are inflamed anal varicose veins that have swollen because of our need to push excessively to get those hard stools to pass. And as bad as hemorrhoids are, they aren’t the worst of our potential problems.

#3: Colon Disease

Eliminating completely and often helps maintain good colon health. Many studies point to fecal buildup in the colon as a cause of diseases including colon cancer. And when there is buildup in the colon, our bodies can’t absorb all the nutrients from the food we eat, leaving us without the energy we could enjoy if our colons were healthy.

#4: Urinary Difficulty/Infections

Urinary flow is usually stronger and easier when women squat to urinate. The bladder is emptied more completely when squatting rather than sitting or “hovering”. Squatting can help reduce episodes of urinary tract infections in both frequency and intensity. Now, that is good news!

#5: Pelvic Floor Issues

One of the main causes of this condition is straining on the toilet. The “sitting” position causes a great amount of pressure on the anorectal Angle of the colon causing the lower part of the colon to drop and protrude into the wall of the vagina. Pelvic floor nerves can be protected by squatting for bowel elimination. Men can also suffer from pelvic floor disorders and can readily benefit from using the Squatty Potty as a part of their everyday routine.

An Interview:

To help explain the concept of squatting and how it can be beneficial, I interviewed Robert Edwards, creator of the Squatty Potty:

How did the concept of the Squatty Potty come about?
My mother has suffered from lifelong colon issues and has spent years trying to find a way to alleviate them. A colon hydro-therapist suggested putting her feet up and so she started gathering boxes and stacking phone books in front of the toilet to serve as squatting platforms. The results were immediate, but the method was inconvenient and was always in the way. So, I designed a footstool that fits snugly underneath the toilet when not in use, and is the correct height and slant for use with the westernized toilet.

To create the best possible product, I consulted with doctors, nurses, alignment specialists and natural health experts to identify the perfect height, position and angle ideal for squatting in addition to reading numerous studies on the subject and working with pelvic floor clinics and gastroenterologists nationwide to develop something that they would (and do) recommend to their clients
We started selling Squatty Potties in fall of 2011 out of our St. George headquarters. We are proud to say that our products are manufactured in the USA.

What are some of the shortcomings of the current way most of us use the restroom?
The colon doesn’t fully relax in the sitting position. It isn’t until the colon is in the squatting position that the strain (to go) is eliminated. The kink in your colon maintains continence. Squatting properly aligns the colon and peristalsis is normalized (or quickened). [The above video explains more.]

In short, what is the benefit of using the Squatty Potty compared to just using the restroom “normally?”
The Squatty Potty helps create a squatting position while on the toilet which lends itself to better toilet posture, helping users prevent colon disease, constipation, hemorrhoids and similar ailments.

Are there any studies or research that explain the concept/science behind why this type of position is so much more beneficial?
Yes, this study addresses how body position impacts proper elimination (PDF).

Can anyone use the Squatty Potty or are there people who won’t be able to use it?
Everyone can use the Squatty Potty! Because we have styles that range from 5-9 inches, most everyone can find a height that works for them. It’s an easy solution for women with pelvic floor issues, seniors with constipation and everyone else in between.

 Any other info you would like my readers to know?
Physiologically, we are designed to squat. I think a great example can be seen in children that are still in diapers who squat to poop. Many of them then struggle to poop when sitting on training toilets because it is unnatural – they instinctively squat.

My Experience

The concept made a lot of sense to me, especially after seeing with myself and other laboring women, how relaxation and proper positioning of the sphincter muscles can make a night and day difference in labor (and babies are much bigger!). I’d noticed in the past how the relaxation techniques I used in labor (relaxing the jaw, etc) can help elimination be a lot easier, and it made sense that position would have an effect as well (as squatting often makes labor faster/easier as well).

After reading several accounts of people whose elimination was greatly improved by simply changing their position, I attempted to try it their way and just squat on the toilet seat. Sounds easy enough, but when pregnant, it is not. Hilarity ensued.

I was excited to have the chance to try the Squatty Potty, as it is much more convenient that trying to balance on the toilet seat (and more sanitary!), and it looks a lot better than the empty coconut oil buckets I had tried using.

What surprised me with the Squatty Potty was the immediate difference I noticed. The first time I used it, things moved much more quickly (there I go starting with the TMI). Within two days, this position felt so natural that it was strange to sit in the “normal position” anymore.

Another advantage, as we currently have a newly potty-taught little one is that it is the perfect height for kids to use to climb up to the toilet. Between the Squatty Potty and the convertible toilet seat for little ones that we just installed, we’ve had a lot fewer “I-couldn’t-get-there-in-time” accidents. My husband is also very happy that we’ve gotten rid of the free standing kids potty, as it had gotten permanently gross after being used for multiple kids.

Though I don’t struggle with constipation during pregnancy, (thank you probiotics!) I have struggled with hemorrhoids at the end of a couple of my pregnancies and my midwives are often reminding of the importance of maintaining pelvic floor strength since I’ve had my babies so close together. I’m excited to see what effect the Squatty Potty might have in both of these areas.

If you haven’t tried it, I’d definitely recommend modifying your restroom posture to see how it will effect your bowel health. I was surprised at the difference and think you will be too!

What do you think? Crazy concept or does it make sense? Have you tried it? Join the conversation below!

Reader Comments

  1. Jessica Ferraro says

    Thank you for the article! I first experienced real squat toilets while traveling and thought they made a lot of sense for pooing. Hated them for peeing, though–it was an annoying challenge to keep my ankles dry with porcelain just inches below me. But even with that, I imagine I’d have some serious Kegels if I practiced!

    But I digress! After coming home, I never thought of buying a contraption for Western toilets, (which would solve that pesky pee problem) and my cheap toilet seat would break if I climbed on it over and over, so I started leaning my chest forward onto my thighs while raising my heels. Sometimes I touch my toes. Is it weird that I enjoy the little morning stretch while I do my business? And I know it’s not exactly the same as squatting, but it seems to be a good happy medium solution.

    Anyways, I also wanted to mention, though, that I currently have really serious knee issues–botched knee surgery, torn ligaments, etc.–and I know I won’t be able to squat for at least a good long while after my upcoming surgeries–possibly never. I’ve had physical therapists tell me how “bad” kneeling and squatting are for knees, generally. I’ve come to reject this idea as simply dismissing their job of getting me back in full working order, but I’m curious if anybody has any thoughts about this…

    • FrogsMom says

      I think in this kind of situation you wouldn’t be putting as much pressure on your knees as you would if you were actually squatting.

  2. Jen says

    You could also buy a little stool (not pun intended) and place it under your feet when you’re on the toilet, the elevation is somewhat like a squat.

  3. Renee says

    I have one and I had the same reaction as you did…Things moved more quickly! It does feel strange now to sit in the old position. I think it is well worth it.

      • Agi says

        This I my dilemma. Squatty Potty doesn’t make one, or an accessory to add, for children. They suggested a 9″. But, will a small child really have proper alignment? Also does the child still need a step stool to get up onto the toilet and Squatty Potty? Is it stable enough for them to put their weight onto while getting up and down on their own?

        I am undecided between this or the Little Looster which seems more stable and at 8″ or so in height would have the same squatting benefit. However, it doesn’t tuck away as nicely.

        Help?!!

  4. Willow Carver says

    So interesting! I’ve used a stool for this purpose for years and years, but I never knew any of this …

  5. says

    That’s so funny, I just reviewed the Squatty Potty on my website too! I’ve been using the little stool that my son uses. We did elimination communication with him from birth and it is no surprise that the deep squat in arms hold in EC is the same as using a Squatty Potty or a stool. I’m so glad that he invented this. It totally makes sense and I look forward to hearing how it affects you in this pregnancy.

  6. Helen Sidabutar says

    Well in my country, Indonesia, we have been using squatty toilets for ages, but since most of modern views thought of us as primitives, therefore there are more and more sitting toilet nowadays. I’m personally more comfortable with squatty and still using it until now.

  7. Christin says

    Interesting. Since I don’t have a squatty potty or a stool for kids, I put a pair of yoga blocks in the bathroom. Same idea and the same set can be height adjusted 3 ways, just chose the height that works for each person.

  8. Megan says

    I don’t use the SquattyPotty, but I have used a 7-inch-high stool for the past two years to help with my potty habits. I had years of – ahem – potty issues (and I’m only 30) before I read about changing your position on the toilet. Now, I rarely have issues “evacuating” (TMI, I know), particularly since I abandoned gluten and unfermented diary.

  9. says

    Thank you for posting this! I read this article before Christmas, and ended up asking for a squatty potty for Christmas. I have been very impressed and pleased with the improvement I have experienced. My husband, who at first was skeptical, is now “singing praises” for the squatty potty. :)

  10. e.b. says

    Can’t wait to try this. Just a comment in general, it would be neat if the businesses that you point your readers to, for example Squatty Potty, could offer your readers a discount as incentive to purchase their products. I’ve seen this on many blogs, not sure if it’s something you’ve explored. In any case, I can’t wait to use this product.

  11. April Grow says

    I read this post when you originally posted it, and thought about it for a while. Last week we had to get a new toilet and it’s one of the “right height” ones that are higher. I’m 5’6″ (though all of my height is really in my thighs), and I can only touch the floor with my tiptoes. I’ve never had trouble going, but now I do. I have a scheduled c-section (I have to have another one) in a week, and there is no way I am going to be able to “go” with a new incision when my feet don’t touch the ground. I’m ordering today and hoping to take it to the hospital with me too. I just have to decide between the heights and how many. 2 or 3? My husband offered to replace the new toilet, but this seems like a much easier/cheaper solution. Thanks!

  12. Sarah says

    Do you think a little boy (3 years) could use the Squatty Potty to pee standing up? How wide is the front part of the stool? Thanks for the info!

  13. ViolinGal says

    Question, if I am a short person (like 4 feet and 11 inches) would it be better for me to buy the 9 inch version as opposed to the 7 inch one?

  14. says

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  15. Ty Branaman says

    THANK YOU! I had extreme hemorrhoid pain and an intense need to use the potty, nothing was working the pain was to much, I came across your article and tried it> It helped get the job done! now that its 3 am, I can finally get some sleep and will be ordering one in the morning.

  16. says

    It is
    a regular sight to envision not only amateurs, but in addition practiced
    athletes carrying a brace or support. The knee could also be a very advanced
    joint that’s usually eviscerate every through a quick force or impact on the
    joint, or through repetitive strains, referred to as overuse injuries.

  17. says

    Another form of treatment may well be a knee immobilizer.
    that has Associate in Nursing object sort of a sleeve or brace. The contestant
    wraps the immobilizer around his or her knee, to prevent movement. this may to
    boot involve carrying a solid.

  18. elementaryschoolvolunteer says

    What this article says may do as much for one’s health as any medicine, procedure or practice. One caveat: if you are not young and have not been squatting much of your life – be very careful of your knees.

    Don’t Oriental cultures have longer lifespans than the West? Is it perhaps not diet so much as squatting to eliminate? Google: “Getting up and down from the floor without using hands or knees adds years to one’s life.”

    Squat toilets on Thai farms were set over their own small septic tank, had gas traps so no outhouse smell. AND were so elegant in their simple porcelain lines that lay low to the floor and left the small room almost a chapel in its simplicity. And a quart or 2 flushed it. Thai city squat toilets often have a kitchen-type sprayer next to the toilet: bidet without a second fixture. And the Thai bathroom is so easy to clean. Floor slants to a shower pan at one end, no shower curtain to clean etc. In the FL house I designed, couldn’t find a squat toilet, but have the slanted floor, the shower pan at one end, and find myself using this bathroom instead of the Western one upstairs. It is so much easier to clean.

    Didn’t humans always squat to eliminate until the Victorian era when the sitdown toilet became a status symbol.

  19. elementaryschoolvolunteer says

    Letting toddlers squat to eliminate makes toilet training so easy & quick. Thai babies as soon as they could squat were encouraged to squat while the adult encouraged, “Sisst now child, sissst,” for the one, “URRRT, now child, urrrt,” for the other. Back in the States I let my babies squat over newspapers or in the shower stall & both were toilet trained at about 1 yr old.

    But if you are older and haven’t squatted much in life, like on the floor to work or sit, be very aware of any stress you are putting on your knees.

  20. Greg Hartley says

    The Squatty Potty is one of the best things I’ve ever purchased. I became proficient in about three days and notice a huge difference when I can’t use the SP (out in public, etc.). I’ve had hemorrhoid flare-ups in the past, but none since using the SP. It’s an amazingly simple yet effective device.

  21. Jonathan says

    I’ve tried several times to post a comment on the difference between genuine squatting and using a footstool (explained at http://www.naturesplatform.com/faq.html#footstools ). It is very sad to see that you don’t want to jeopardize your affiliate income by allowing the truth to come out. On your “about us” page you say your goal is to “help others”. You also say that you “absolutely love helping women have positive birth experiences.” Using a footstool like the squatty potty will not help prepare women for childbirth, because women giving birth need to squat with the body’s full weight on their feet. You also “have five kids under seven” who obviously can squat perfectly well. If you force them to use a footstool, you are doing them a great disservice. Your attempt to suppress the truth shows extremely poor judgement.

  22. says

    Ideally people should have a bowel movement for each meal that they eat. So Dr. Oz asked people about this. Many people have only one bowel movement a week. That is awful. The Chinese have to squat to use their toilet.

  23. says

    I’m not at all trying to hide the truth… I have a comment system that flags all posts with links to cut down on spam and I am way behind on moderating comments (back to the having five kids thing). It is absolutely possible to squat with full weight on a Squatty Potty (which I do) and some elevation is an improvement over feet completely down. I also find it funny that your quest to spread the truth coincides with the fact that you have a vested interest, as your email address indicates that you are part of the natures platform company. I’m all for helpful discussion, but please keep the tone charitable.

    • Jonathan says

      Thanks for your reply. I only became “uncharitable” when my first two much more polite posts were ignored. I didn’t expect this one ever to be seen by the public. I only submitted it because there’s no email address where I could reach you.

      I’m not only part of Nature’s Platform, but I’m a one-person company. The business is just a “pretext” to educate the population, not the other way around.

    • Jonathan says

      Children are the real experts. Just give your kids the chance to squat properly and they will never want to go back to a footstool. You don’t have to buy anything except two concrete blocks and a plastic container.

  24. Jon H says

    What about the problem of leg blood circulation? When I was younger I would literally sometimes fall asleep on the toilet… And because of being bent over (which is close to the same position as talked about in this article, except bringing your legs up instead of torso down), when I would wake up, my legs would be completely numb, and sometimes hurt really bad. So I learned my lesson! But wouldn’t constantly going to the bathroom in this position cut off some of the circulation to your legs, like what happened to me? That can’t be good, and when you get old I’m pretty sure you’ll start to notice problems with your legs, having bent forward so much through the years. Or am I totally wrong?

  25. Danielle says

    I heard about squatting being healthier for elimination from a friend and kind of dismissed it: as a westerner who has also traveled frequently to places with ‘squatting’ toilets, my impression of them being primitive comes from my personal experience of public ones so filthy that they were a health hazard, with layers of poorly-aimed semi-liquid eliminations all over the footpads and floor (and walls and door). Obviously it should be totally different to have a private one in my home that I can clean, so I’m open to starting with a stool and maybe moving on from there. Sounds like other posters’ husbands have come around, so there’s hope for mine then.

  26. Lori says

    Ok. First of all, I have NEVER felt the need to comment on anything online. However, after this link was shared with me curiosity got the best of me and next trip to the bathroom I had to drag in a simple step stool just to investigate. I’ve fortunately never had any issues with constipation and such and have always been very regular, but even I noticed a difference the very first time. I came out of the bathroom raving to my daughters and husband that we need potty stools for each bathroom! My husband used it, just to shut me up, and he was amazed too! He has ALWAYS had issues we BMs and he was so thrilled that he he came out of the bathroom with a smile and a fist bump for me rather then the normal grimace and rubbing of his tummy. I’m sold. Thank you!!!

  27. Laura says

    I have a 3 1/2 year old who has been EC’d since birth and will not poo on the toilet. This is understandable reading your post – it has been very informative, thank you. (And I have been reluctant to ‘make’ him anyway).

    He’s approximately 3.3 feet – or 1 meter – tall.

    Do you think the 7″ or 9″ would work for him? Might I need to order one for me and my husband and one for my son?

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