Why do I need a toilet stool

Why do I need a toilet stool? Good question. When we get asked about our business and what the PROPPR is all about; we often encounter a few interesting questions and comments. Along with a few jokes and poo puns too.

Things like…

  • Why do I need a purpose built toilet stool?
  • Can’t I just take some laxatives?
  • What about buying a cheap stool at the store?
  • Or squatting on the toilet?

They are valid questions, so let’s answer those questions and a few more.

Why can’t I use any old stool or turn the bin upside down?

Certainly you could. But the PROPPR was created to be the right height to best replicate the ‘squat’ position on the western pedestal toilet. With that said we’ve recently learnt via our customers in the US that their toilet heights are a little lower. So we now have two heights of PROPPR Acer in the clear finish – the original PROPPR Acer standard and the new Acer ‘Starter’.

The PROPPR was designed for purpose. Many generic stools on the market are simply not high enough to elevate the knees above the hips – and having the knees above the hips when sitting is the key!

Some toilet stools are a little on the ‘chunky’ side and hard to store, creating the potential for trip hazards and clutter. The PROPPR is very discrete, easy to manoeuvre and also easy to store away when not in use. It was deliberately designed not to wrap around the toilet pedestal for not only aesthetic reasons but also to deter any potential tripping hazards.

The PROPPR fits neatly to the side of most toilets when not in use. Its slimline design and light weight also make it safer and easier to use for those with any mobility issues. And it can generally be picked up and moved easily with only one hand.

And, it looks beautiful too, if we do say so ourselves! We’re super proud of the Good Design Award we received in 2019. So, for those that love sleek design and have invested in a beautiful bathroom, then the PROPPR will feel right at home in your ‘at- home’ sanctuary.

Why can’t I just squat on the toilet seat?

Technically you could squat on the toilet seat, 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.

Secondly, for many of us in western cultures where we use a pedestal toilet, squatting is super difficult. We just don’t have the general knee or hip flexibility. Unlike other cultures where squatting is the norm, this natural instinct and muscle strength is lost when we are toddlers and start our toilet training.

Using the PROPPR toilet stool is a safer alternative. It helps get you comfortably close to the perfect squatting/releasing alignment – unkinking your colon and allowing it to straighten – and therefore suitable for most levels of flexibility.

“I’ll just take some Dulcolax or Movicol”

While an over the counter laxative can assist with the short term resolution of constipation, the overuse of laxatives can lead to a number of issues, with some potentially permanent.

Even when taking laxatives for a short time, you may experience electrolyte disturbances, dehydration and mineral deficiencies. The ongoing use of laxatives can lead to dependency in order to ‘go’ and decreased bowel function. In the longer term laxative abuse can also cause potentially permanent damage to the digestive system, including chronic constipation, as well as damage to the nerves and muscles of the colon.

In 2019 The Lancet reported on a UK study by the Bowel Interest Group which found that constipation cost the English National Health Service (NHS) £162 million in 2017–18. And this was only in relation to patients reporting to a hospital.

Prescription of laxatives is fairly common practice in England, with many also self-medicating with over-the-counter laxatives. Prescription laxatives alone cost £91 million in 2017–18; which doesn’t include the amount spent on over-the-counter laxatives, estimated to be considerably higher. We hear anecdotally that other western cultures would see similar practices. And they’re pretty staggering sums.

What is regular?

There is a wide range of variability in how often people have bowel movements. What is ‘regular’ for you is different for others. For some, their “regular” is 2 to 3 times each day and for others, 2 to 3 times a week. So, as you can see the term ‘average’ can be vastly different. For poo fairy experts like Zhenya, we define “regular” as at least one healthy and complete bowel motion per day.

You may poo more often, or less frequently than once per day, depending on how much fibre is in your diet, how much meat you eat, how much water you drink, how much physical activity you tend to get, and other factors. Things such as poor diet, physical inactivity and some medications can disrupt normal bowel function and cause constipation.

It’s a bit expensive isn’t it?

Reflecting on the above, let’s consider the price of the PROPPR against the cost of ongoing treatments with health professionals. Or the purchase of laxatives and supplements that may not assist over the long term as the bowel becomes addicted, or even immune to these treatments. It’s not to say that these may not be necessary but for some, the simple act of ‘propping’ may greatly reduce the need for these alternative or ongoing interventions.

The PROPPR is intended to be a one-off purchase for daily use, and if looked after, it will last a lifetime. It’s a quality piece of furniture, manufactured to exact specifications while utilising long-lasting materials, and in the case of the timber models, natural FSC Certified (sustainably grown) timbers.

So what if, for some people, regular bowel movements were achieved by making some simple changes, including your position on the toilet? Why not give it a go? For a once off investment in a PROPPR toilet stool, along with good hydration, diet and exercise you might be able to save all that cash in laxatives and medications. And really look after your gut health for the long term.