What number of you really think about how you’re perched on the can when you take a poop? (Anybody?) Turns out, it’s something you ought to consider. In an recent meeting, Giulia Enders, the creator of “Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ” (it’s a blockbuster in her local Germany and was simply discharged in soft cover in English), clarifies that there is a correct method to position yourself on the potty, and it’s tied in with crouching.
“1.2 billion people around the world who squat have almost no incidence of diverticulosis [a condition that occurs when pouches in the bowel become inflamed, leading to abdominal pain, constipation, and rectal bleeding] and fewer problems with piles [hemorrhoids],” says Enders in the interview. “We in the west, on the other hand, squeeze our gut tissue until it comes out of our bottoms.” (Sorry for the nasty mental image.)
Enders, who is studying for a microbiology degree in Frankfurt, Germany, also tells that there are various studies showing that people can poop more efficiently if they squat. One 2012 study published in the Digestive Diseases and Sciences journal, for instance, found that people who squatted on a 12-inch toilet while pooping took 51 seconds, while those who sat without squatting on a 16-inch toilet took 130 seconds.
Can’t picture what squatting on the toilet looks like? Enders tells that you can use a little stool to place your feet on while you’re sitting. Voila—it’s as simple as that. Try this technique yourself the next time you’ve gotta go. Your bowels will thank you—and maybe you’ll even tone your legs at the same time.