How to properly sit on the toilet

How should I sit on the toilet? Is there a right way? Here at the PROPPR we do harp on a bit about how to properly sit on the toilet; the proper position to poo if like. It’s the whole reason our stools (for great stools!) exist after all.

The best way to poop is to prop a squat – but that’s not easily done on our western pedestal toilets. For most of us, our leg muscles just aren’t used to getting down on our haunches. Plus we generally lack the knee or hip flexibility required to make that comfortable for any length of time; if at all.

So… using a foot stool for western toilets is the next best thing. A bathroom foot stool at the ‘right’ height (meaning it gets your knees higher than your hips) effectively unkinks your colon and removes the little ‘S-bend’ that is created when we sit on our ‘thrones’.

Is the throne really a seat for royalty?

Well, no, not for the purposes of healthy pooping at least. In his book The Culture of the Abdomen, published in 1924, Dr William Welles quoted leading medical authorities who were outspoken about the faulty design of the new seated toilet; and the resultant health consequences. Dr Welles stated "It would have been better if the contraption had killed its inventor before he launched it under humanity's buttocks!" And around four decades later, in the mid-1960’s, Cornell University professor Alexandra Kira, described the seated toilet as “the most ill-suited fixture ever designed.” Pretty harsh words right there!

So why is squatting the way to go?

It’s a simple physiological fact… squatting helps to relax the puborectalis muscles, opening the rectum and straightening the colon, pretty much creating a downward ‘slide’. With a straightened colon there is less need to strain or push, allowing the body to more naturally and easily release.

You just need to observe the habits of the toddlers around us prior to toilet (or ‘potty’) training - they will hide under the dining table, or in a corner of a room, and squat to leave a deposit in their nappy. In those early toddler years our little bodies instinctively tell us that squatting to release the bowel is ‘the way to go’. But unfortunately, unlike those cultures where squatting is the norm, this natural instinct and muscle strength is lost when we start our toilet training.

Why can’t I squat on the toilet?

Some may ask; “why can’t I just squat directly on the toilet?” And technically you could… but we wouldn’t recommend it. First of all it’s dangerous. You have the risk of slipping and cutting yourself, breaking the toilet seat or worse; breaking a body part. And, as we’ve outlined, for many of us squatting is super difficult as we simply don’t have the general knee or hip flexibility.

How to properly sit on the toilet?

While squatting is the ultimate, the reality is that our pedestal toilets are not going to disappear from bathrooms any time soon. So using a footstool for western toilets, like the PROPPR toilet stool, is a safer alternative, suitable for most levels of flexibility, and helps to get you close to the perfect squatting/releasing position. You got it… the ‘PROPPR’ position to poo! Allowing for some level of comfort, by using a toilet foot rest you get to sit and squat at the time.

What’s the average time on the toilet (yep, it’s been measured!)?

Did you know that the average time spent seated on a toilet is between 114-130 seconds, while in a squat position it’s just 51 seconds? That’s quite a difference. Imagine how much extra time you’d get back after a week, a month, a year! Reclaim that time people!

But don’t just take our word. A PROPPR friend sent us a link to this fabulous little video and we just had to share. It’s only a few minutes and courtesy of the BBC and their ‘IDEAS’ page. We’re sure you’ll be entertained. As well as informed with new useful facts.