Everyone Poops, by Taro Gomi, is a children’s book celebrating a very natural process that we all do.  Although we all do it, it has been theorized that persons in western society may be doing it wrong.

When President Carter came down with a bad case of hemorrhoids in 1978 a prominent physician simply stated that the hemorrhoids developed because, “We were not meant to sit on toilets.  We were meant to squat in the field.”

Sitting on toilets began in 1591 with the invention of the flush toilet. It has been argued that the toilet puts the body in a position that makes defecation more difficult which can result in constipation, abdominal pain and hemorrhoids. For most of human history, humans have squatted to defecate. Still today many squat because of lack of access to modern toilets.  Asian cultures use the squatting position because their flushing toilets are close to the ground.

Mechanics of Defecation

When in an upright position our bodies safeguard us from uncontrolled defecation using three muscles. Proponents of squatting believe that conventional toilets produce an anorectal angle that is not suited for complete bowel evacuation, thus requiring straining. It has been argued that squatting decreases straining for complete evacuation.

Japanese Study

A recent study out of Japan took a closer look at different defecation positions in order to test the theory. Six healthy volunteers participated in the study which analyzed anorectal angles, intra-abdominal pressure and anal pressure, in the standard sitting position, flexed hip position and full squat position.  What they found was that in the squatting position the abdominal pressure was lower. Although the sample size was small, these finding draw attention to the potential significance of the squatting posture.

So, when you are camping or visiting a rural area of Asia, you may find yourself having to squat to poop!  Although it is different from what you are accustom, you may also have less constipation and hemorrhoid issues.  Could it be because you are pooping the way nature intended?

Disclaimer: The information presented on this website is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Discuss this information with your healthcare provider to determine what is right for you.  All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical condition