Does the Squatty Potty Really Improve How We Poop?

Katie Wells Avatar

Reading Time: 7 minutes

This post contains affiliate links.

Read my affiliate policy.

Does the squatty potty really improve how we poop
Wellness Mama » Blog » Natural Home » Does the Squatty Potty Really Improve How We Poop?

I’m constantly researching tools, resources, and health devices to make our lives easier, healthier, and more enjoyable. One of those resources that I’ve used for years is the Squatty Potty.

I first started talking about the Squatty Potty long before they went on Shark Tank and years before they released their viral video about unicorn poop (which is one of the most hilarious videos I’ve ever seen). If you want an even more hilarious read, check out this Squatty Potty review by a new squatting convert!

But unicorns and rainbows aside … does a stool that you stand on while sitting on the toilet really live up to its claims of helping improve the way we poop?

My midwife actually recommended the Squatty Potty during my last pregnancy to help with getting ready to push. It also makes potty training much easier since it is the perfect height for kids to use without falling in.

But there’s some good research showing it may be beneficial for all of us to make going a little easier.

The Idea of Squatting to Poop

The concept of squatting to poo is certainly not a new one. In fact, I was quite surprised the first couple of times I saw toilets designed for this purpose when traveling in other countries. At that time, I just considered it an outdated and primitive toilet, and couldn’t understand why anyone would use one. Not being used to fully squatting, it was certainly comical trying to learn to use it the first time!

Fast forward a few years to my toothpaste and deodorant-making, organic-cooking days and the concept actually didn’t seem so crazy anymore. In fact, I noticed that my young children often do this naturally when the urge to eliminate hits them. I can often tell when my one year old is about to need a diaper change because she is squatting down behind the couch.

So I started looking into the research and it turns out that these cultures who have been squatting for ages may be ahead of the game!

Is the Modern Toilet Causing Problems?

Recently, I’ve seen posts from everyone from Dr. Mercola to Dr. Oz touting the benefits of proper bathroom posture, and even Bill Gates held a contest to redesign the modern toilet. It seems no one loves the traditional toilet, but can position make it better?

Experts claim that the squatting position is more natural and can help avoid colon disease, constipation, hemorrhoids, pelvic floor issues, and similar ailments.

All About the Angle

The correct way to poop

The basic idea is that the angle makes all the difference when it comes to elimination. When we sit, this creates what is called an anorectal angle, which essentially puts a kink in the elimination process. This creates upward pressure on the rectum and makes it harder to get feces out. The upward pressure also creates the need to strain, even just slightly, to eliminate the stool.

Squatting corrects this angle and removes the kink to let elimination happen more naturally. 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.

Problems with Sitting on a Regular Toilet

Most of us have been sitting on a “regular” toilet our entire lives and have probably never thought to question this practice. But it turns out that modern toilets that are designed to be more comfortable may actually be contributing to some uncomfortable potty problems, including:

1. Constipation

Let’s face it: most of us aren’t eating the recommended amount of vegetables, much less the optimal amount. And most of us aren’t drinking enough water either. These two things along with improper toilet posture and many other reasons create hard, dry stools that 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.

But that’s just the beginning …

2. Hemorrhoids

Several factors contribute to the development of hemorrhoids. Straining during elimination can make them more likely. Increased blood flow of pregnancy creates this uncomfortable problem for many womenz as well. Hemorrhoids are inflamed anal varicose veins that have swollen because of our need to push excessively to get those hard stools to pass. They can be exceptionally painful.

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.

I personally found during my last pregnancy that using the Squatty Potty to help me squat during urination reduced the need to urinate as often.

5. Pelvic Floor Issues

One of the main causes of pelvic floor issues 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. This puts pressure on the pelvic floor and can create unnecessary strain.

Interview with Robert Edwards

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

Q: How did the concept of the Squatty Potty come about?

A: 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.

Q: What are some of the shortcomings of the current way most of us use the restroom?

A: 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).

Q: In short, what is the benefit of using the Squatty Potty compared to just using the restroom “normally?”

A: 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.

Q: Can anyone use the Squatty Potty or are there people who won’t be able to use it?

A: Everyone can use the Squatty Potty! Because we have styles that range from 5-9 inches, so 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.

My Experience with The Squatty Potty

The concept of squatting 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, natural breathing, etc.) can help elimination be a lot easier, and it made sense that position would have a positive effect (since squatting often makes labor faster and 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 I was pregnant at the time and balance was a little difficult. Hilarity ensued.

Does the Squatty Potty Work?

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 a few days, this position felt so natural that it was strange to sit in the “normal position” anymore.

The Proper Way to Poo- How Your Posture in the Loo Affects Your Health

Another advantage, as we currently have a baby close to potty training age and the stool is the perfect height for kids to use to climb up to the toilet. Since we started using the Squatty Potty vs. those convertible toilet seats for littles, 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 become permanently disgusting after use with multiple kids.

What Size Squatty Potty Is Best?

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!). Plus it surely looks a lot better than the empty coconut oil buckets I had tried using.

There are various sizes, but the classic Ecco is 7 inches high and seems to work for most people. The adjustable one can go from 7-9 inches and is a little better for children.

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 the Squatty Potty? Share below!

Sources
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.

Comments

103 responses to “Does the Squatty Potty Really Improve How We Poop?”

  1. Dante Avatar

    My household tried the Squatty Potty but discovered it has a serious flaw: it’s too narrow for people with broad thighs. We couldn’t get both feet on the device at the same time because it forced them too close together. I would be interested in trying again if they made one for folks with wider stances.

  2. Samantha Avatar
    Samantha

    Looking for guidance on size of individual verses age. I am 5’2, the height of many 10 years these days. Any thoughts?

  3. Cristina Avatar
    Cristina

    Our feet fall asleep when I use the squatty potty. Any idea why this is happening?

  4. Carla Avatar

    I noticed a difference when out camping in the wilderness. Going potty in the great outdoors while squatting was fast and easy. When things slowed down I found myself wanting to go outdoors – which is not always a possibility. So I used step stools which were in the way and needed in other rooms. So I finally broke down and bought a squatter potty. (Actually it’s an off brand the Squat N go). And I’m loving it.

  5. Elöh' Avatar

    If while sitting on a “US Potty,” you can just lean forward, pressing your trunk close to your legs and get the same dynamics. Squat Potties in other countries are often quite unsanitary, with water on the floors where your clotting touches. Hardly ever anywhere to hang your purse or coat, too. Hardly ANY paper–be sure to bring your own.

  6. Rebecca Avatar

    Woman. 65. Save your money. For the past nine months I’ve been sitting backwards on the toilet. Since starting my recurrent bladder discomfort has completely disappeared. No exaggeration. And pooping is a breeze (lean back a little and you’ll understand). Yes ladies. It’s a bit inconvenient, but the benefits are absolutely worth it.

  7. Kristine Manley Avatar
    Kristine Manley

    Thank you for this post. I recently purchased a set of two Squatty Potties, one for my Mom’s bathroom and one for my master bathroom. My Mom who is elderly loves it! It took me a while to use because it just took me some getting used to, but now I’m a pro at it. It’s comfortable to use. Elimination seems so much easier.

  8. Jacqueline Avatar
    Jacqueline

    Amazing, here I am looking at recipes for face cream and I end up here, haha. The unicorn poop ad is hilarious, I found it ages ago and have been sharing it madly ever since (check out their Poopouri ad too). I use an upturned rectangular bamboo basket instead of a SP white plastic step, it fits my decor better. We just slide it into position with one foot and back again when finished.

    A friend decades ago told me she lived with a squatting convert, only this person stood on the seat. Yuk 🙁 wouldn’t recommend it… if anyone reading this does it, just google broken toilet bowl squatting, that’ll surely put an end to your dangerous habit.

    But a big thumbs up from our household for using a Squatty Potty or a good substitute, yay! Great website Katie, by the way 🙂

  9. Jincy Avatar

    Hi Katie,
    I have a 1 yr 4 month old child who just started potty training.
    I am considering buying the 2.0 adjustable squatty potty as I am not sure what height will work best.
    I wanted to know if the convertible toilet seat you mention above is needed in addition to squatty potty or would the squatty potty suffice by itself? You mention “squatty potty ‘vs’ convertible toilet seat”, so it seems just the squatty potty should suffice. But wanted to check with you what you meant.

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      I’ve used both in the past, and if your child is very small then you might need to use both as well. The Squatty Potty acts as a step-stool for the child, but the convertible toilet seat is a smaller version of the standard seat that sits over the top so the child doesn’t feel like he will fall in. Make sense?

  10. Jessica Avatar

    Hey, just letting you know you have adds popping up on this page for junk food. Keebler crackers, Pringles chips and special K cereal… Thought you’d like to know so you can adjust that! 😉

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar

      Thanks, Jessica! We don’t have complete control over the ads but do our best to make sure they are not contradictory to what this site is about. I appreciate the heads up!

  11. Shwan Marsh Avatar
    Shwan Marsh

    I grinned completely through the article. I have been to Taiwan and China and had a comparable ordeal. Luckily I found a debilitated toilet in the prepare station. I likewise lived in Iran as a kid. The majority of the toilets there are squatters with no flushing capacity. They are called moosterahs.

  12. cheryl ann wisniewski Avatar
    cheryl ann wisniewski

    I suffer from Hashimoto’s & constipation. I love my squatty potty!

  13. Dorothy Turnquest Avatar
    Dorothy Turnquest

    Thank you Wellness Mama. I’ve read the info on the squatty potty. I’ve some years ago that placing one’s foot on a small stool will help well with elimination. I’ve tried it. But most times I forget to do it
    I would also kinda raise my two feet and like position on my toes that helps also with the movement
    Where can I find yours for possible purchase?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *