What’s the Big Deal About Pooping Posture?
When you consider the design of modern toilets, it’s just hard to imagine that there’s a more effective way to eliminate waste. I mean, you go to the bathroom, drop your pants and take a seat. That’s how we’ve done it since we were potty trained, and how we’ll continue to do it as long as toilet seats are a foot and a half off the ground.
However, doctors have been trying to tell us for decades that we’ve been doing it all wrong, specifically with regard to the “sitting” part of the equation. As it turns out, the key to a complete, abdomen-emptying poop is squatting, rather than sitting, and it all has to do with the human anatomy. We’ll give you the low-down on why it’s important to get low when you go #2, and how to do it right.
Pooping: A Brief History
For centuries, pooping posture for humans consisted of squatting in a field, much like any other mammal. In fact, squatting is still the primary method in many Eastern cultures, calling to mind the traditional squat toilets found in China. If you don’t know what a squat toilet is, think of a shallow, porcelain basin mounted in the floor, analogous to the design of an in-ground pool. From there, you plant both of your feet on either side of the basin and GET LOW. The end result is a more complete defecation, without the struggle associated with sitting.
In a nutshell, the positioning of the rectum, or the degree of the Anal Rectal angle when we go to the bathroom is the key determinant of our bathroom experience. In order to defecate, our body needs to assume a position that makes defecation possible. Can you imagine trying to go #2 in an upright, standing position? Defecation while standing up is just not anatomically possible, as the Anal Rectal angle is too narrow to allow feces to pass through. On the other hand, when we get into a squatting position, the Anal Rectal angle opens up completely, making defecation naturally a breeze.
When you sit, the Anal Rectal angle opens up just enough to allow defecation, but the rectum is still somewhat constricted. To compensate for the constricted angle, we often find ourselves literally struggling to push out waste.
Health Risks of Sitting
In addition to making defecation a longer, more difficult process, struggling to eliminate feces can cause painful, swollen veins in the colon, better known as hemorrhoids. And although the jury is still out on the relationship between colon cancer and sitting on the toilet, consider the following:
1) The countries with the highest rates of colon cancer are the U.S. and Canada, where sitting is the primary pooping position.
2) Among the countries with the lowest rates of colon cancer is China, where squatting is the cultural position of choice.
Lastly, sitting doesn’t allow complete elimination, leaving feces and toxins behind in the body. Since feces are formed by the separation of water from solid waste in the large intestines, those feces become drier the longer they stay in the body. Ultimately, dry feces can cause constipation, and the more often you’re constipated, the greater chance you have of contracting a colon disease.
How to Squat on a Seated Toilet
Let’s face it—unless you’re super flexible, you just can’t stand up on your toilet seat and squat into a proper squatting position without hurting yourself. On the other hand, you could squat over a bucket if you’re really gung ho about squatting, but that’s just downright gross. The issue then becomes a matter of safely positioning yourself into a squat while on a seated toilet, or moving to the other side of globe.
If you decide to stay in the western world, give the Squatty Potty a whirl. Like a foot rest for the toilet, the Squatty Potty raises your knees above your hips, naturally opening the anorectal angle to a perfect pooping position. The Squatty Potty marries the comfort and convenience of the western commode with the health benefits of the eastern squat. Its U-shape design allows you to slide it beneath the toilet seat, great for convenient storage and easy access.
Squatting may seem weird and funny but the health benefits can’t be ignored. It’s about time that along with diet and nutrition, we talk about toilet posture as being a solution to elimination woes.
YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE
- Redwoods are the world's tallest trees.
- Now scientists have discovered they are even bigger than we thought.
- Using laser technology they map the 80-meter giants.
- Trees are a key plank in the fight against climate change.
They are among the largest trees in the world, descendants of forests where dinosaurs roamed.
Pixabay / Simi Luft<p><span>Until recently, measuring these trees meant scaling their 80 meter high trunks with a tape measure. Now, a team of scientists from University College London and the University of Maryland uses advanced laser scanning, to create 3D maps and calculate the total mass.</span></p><p>The results are striking: suggesting the trees <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">may be as much as 30% larger than earlier measurements suggested.</a> Part of that could be due to the additional trunks the Redwoods can grow as they age, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a process known as reiteration</a>.</p>
New 3D measurements of large redwood trees for biomass and structure. Nature / UCL<p>Measuring the trees more accurately is important because carbon capture will probably play a key role in the battle against climate change. Forest <a href="https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/09/carbon-sequestration-natural-forest-regrowth" target="_blank">growth could absorb billions of tons</a> of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.</p><p>"The importance of big trees is widely-recognised in terms of carbon storage, demographics and impact on their surrounding ecosystems," the authors wrote<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank"> in the journal Nature</a>. "Unfortunately the importance of big trees is in direct proportion to the difficulty of measuring them."</p><p>Redwoods are so long lived because of their ability to <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cope with climate change, resist disease and even survive fire damage</a>, the scientists say. Almost a fifth of their volume may be bark, which helps protect them.</p>
Carbon Capture Champions<p><span>Earlier research by scientists at Humboldt University and the University of Washington found that </span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112716302584" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Redwood forests store almost 2,600 tonnes of carbon per hectare</a><span>, their bark alone containing more carbon than any other neighboring species.</span></p><p>While the importance of trees in fighting climate change is widely accepted, not all species enjoy the same protection as California's coastal Redwoods. In 2019 the world lost the equivalent of <a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation-and-forest-degradation" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">30 soccer fields of forest cover every minute</a>, due to agricultural expansion, logging and fires, according to The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).</p>
Pixabay<p>Although <a href="https://c402277.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/publications/1420/files/original/Deforestation_fronts_-_drivers_and_responses_in_a_changing_world_-_full_report_%281%29.pdf?1610810475" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the rate of loss is reported to have slowed in recent years</a>, reforesting the world to help stem climate change is a massive task.</p><p><span>That's why the World Economic Forum launched the Trillion Trees Challenge (</span><a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a><span>) and is engaging organizations and individuals across the globe through its </span><a href="https://uplink.weforum.org/uplink/s/uplink-issue/a002o00000vOf09AAC/trillion-trees" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Uplink innovation crowdsourcing platform</a><span> to support the project.</span></p><p>That's backed up by research led by ETH Zurich/Crowther Lab showing there's potential to restore tree coverage across 2.2 billion acres of degraded land.</p><p>"Forests are critical to the health of the planet," according to <a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a>. "They sequester carbon, regulate global temperatures and freshwater flows, recharge groundwater, anchor fertile soil and act as flood barriers."</p><p><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Reposted with permission from the </em><span><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/03/redwoods-store-more-co2-and-are-more-enormous-than-we-thought/" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a>.</em></span></p>
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
- Offshore Wind Power Is Ready to Boom. Here's What That Means for ... ›
- American Skyscrapers Kill an Estimated 600 Million Migratory Birds ... ›
Kentucky is coping with historic flooding after a weekend of record-breaking rainfall, enduring water rescues, evacuations and emergency declarations.
<div id="0f31c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4290ab3e7ec4e142f8bce774bab39f03"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1366307788155219969" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Just got back from my office... downtown Beattyville Kentucky is not a pretty sight. @KySportsRadio… https://t.co/6nXwyMKtRb</div> — Tom Jones (@Tom Jones)<a href="https://twitter.com/8atticus/statuses/1366307788155219969">1614588136.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b41a2da6bf23cc19a5f38c2dc6c5f9fc"><div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/dekalbtnfire/photos/a.924258171004562/3713119618785056/"></div></div>
Spring is coming. And soon, tree swallows will start building nests. But as the climate changes, the birds are nesting earlier in the spring.
- Spring Is Arriving Earlier Across the U.S. - EcoWatch ›
- Climate Change Leading to Fatal Bird Conflicts - EcoWatch ›
- The Unsettling Reason Why We're Seeing More Snowy Owls ... ›
Citigroup will strive to reach net-zero greenhouse gas pollution across its lending portfolio by 2050 and in its own operations by 2030, the investment group announced Monday.
- 20 Attorneys General Launch Climate Fraud Investigation of Exxon ... ›
- Exxon Plans to Increase Its Climate Pollution - EcoWatch ›
- Exxon to Slash 14,000 Jobs Worldwide as Oil Demand Drops ... ›