When you sit down on your porcelain throne at home you probably don’t think about how you are going “number 2”. You are probably thinking about anything but that. Did you know that, although people in parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa still use the proper technique for eliminating waste, we in the Americas seem to have forgotten how.
A study that was conducted in 2003 studied 28 people and had them keep note of how they went “number 2” on a daily basis. They had them timing themselves while sitting in three different positions on the toilet. For one position, they were squatting, sitting on a low toilet, and sitting on a regular toilet. Along with the time that it took them they also recorded how much effort it took them to get things moving along.
The researchers found out that squatting was the position that takes the least amount of effort and also takes the least amount of time. The reasoning for this is that when we are standing up straight the colon is pushed up against a muscle called the puborectalis muscle which helps to keep your waste in your body until you are ready to go to the bathroom. When you sit down it relaxes the muscles and help you push the waste out, but when you squat it straightens out the colon and completely relaxes the muscle. This makes waste elimination much easier.
Many experts have said that the reason that so many people get digestive diseases such as constipation, hemorrhoids, and colitis is partly because of all of the straining that people do while they are eliminating waste. In other places such as countries in Asia there are different stalls in the bathrooms that have regular toilets and some that have squatting toilets.