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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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September 23 2009

You Don’t Know Squat

By Mark Sisson
198 Comments

A while back, I gave a bit of Link Love to Nature’s Platform (thanks, NeoPaleo), a contraption that fits over regular toilets and allows users to squat instead of sit. I included it mainly for the laughs, a bit of tongue-in-cheek (no, not that cheek – the other one!) ribald humor that was somewhat relevant to the Primal lifestyle (because let’s face it, Grok was definitely a squatter), but then I got to thinking: maybe there really is something to squatting. At the very least, I owed it to our bowels to look a bit deeper into the subject, to try to get to the bottom of it, as it were.

I’ve always been one to pull up a stool, have a seat, and ruminate on the past. Learn from what our ancestors did. They made mistakes, sure, but they also made great strides, and to simply wipe that history clean and discard the wisdom contained therein is foolish. If we do that, we risk flushing vital information down the toilet. This is of course old news to most of our regular readers, who take the concept to heart, especially in regards to evolutionary diet and fitness. With every fiber of our being, we pattern our behavior after our ancestral history, because that’s when the formative years of human evolution occurred. Homo sapiens have been eating certain things and exercising a certain way for hundreds of thousands of years, and it doesn’t make sense to mess with a good thing.

So where does historical defecation posture fit into all this? Well, if you’re going by years, we’ve been eating grains far longer than we’ve been sitting down to poop. There have been a few exceptions, of course. Moenjo-daro, a 2600 B.C. Indus Valley city-settlement, featured advanced “Western style” toilets, for example, and the Pharoahs and upper-class Romans may have sat to handle their business (they certainly had toilets). Up until the 19th century, though, sitting toilets were a luxury reserved for the affluent. And even then, the sitting toilet was only widely adopted in the West. Everyone else squatted – and most continue to do so today. I go to Thailand fairly often. I can vouch for the prevalence of squat toilets. We’re the weird ones for sitting down to poop, if you want to go by sheer numbers. Worldwide, sitting is actually just the number two method.

If you want to be anal about it, there may actually be some concrete physiological benefits to squatting.

Straining

For one, squatting opens up the recto-anal angle, allowing the squatter to be a bit more lax when handling business. Sitting down to poop, on the other hand, constricts the passageways and requires more straining to push things through. The Israeli researcher Dr. Berko Sikirov, an especially adamant proponent of the squat method, identified the “underlying mechanism” behind constipation: “the obstructive nature of the recto-anal angle” in the sitting position. Constipation often leads to excessive straining (“at least three-fold more than in a squatting posture”), which has been fingered as a probable cause of colonic diverticulosis by Sikirov.

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are another fixture of Western society that don’t enjoy the same prevalence in “squatting” countries. Sikirov assumed the defecation posture might be the culprit, so he gathered a relatively small group of hemorrhoid sufferers – twenty of them, to be exact – and “treated” them with the squatting method. The results were noteworthy: more than half showed marked improvement within weeks or days, while the rest took a bit longer. Everyone improved. Unfortunately for us, the necessary follow up research (on account of the small sample size) has yet to be conducted. The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons don’t seem interested in the possible therapeutic value of squatting. In fact, you might even say Sikirov is the butt of their jokes.

Other Claims

Colon cancer is relatively rare in third-world countries, and now that the fiber hypothesis is all but dead, some suggest chronic constipation (possibly from sitting to poop) is to blame. These claims seem a bit more dubious, judging from this study’s (PDF) conclusion: that aberrant crypt foci (ACF) is the most likely cause of colorectal cancer, and that a cause-and-effect relationship between constipation and cancer cannot be established. Squatting may help clear the road, but I doubt it’s the key to preventing colon cancer.

Proponents also claim that seated toilet-induced “fecal stagnation” causes appendicitis and Crohn’s disease, both of which are rare in traditional cultures and relatively common in westernized cultures. I lean toward diet being the general cause, but I admit defecation positions and their possible health ramifications aren’t my area of expertise, so I’ll relay the information all the same. The appendix, seen here right next to the ceceum, may be vulnerable to fecal blockage (which is actually one of the official possible causes of appendicitis when waste is eliminated from a sitting position. In a stunning display of disturbing imagery, the folks at Nature’s Platform liken it to squeezing a toothpaste tube in the center and seeing both the bottom and top inflate with paste: when sitting, the ceceum cannot be completely vacated and the contents spill out haphazardly, presumably into the adjacent appendix and small intestine, causing appendicitis and Crohn’s disease. When one squats, however, the ceceum is squeezed empty from its base by the right thigh.

As I said earlier, I can’t make the call. Nature’s Platform seems well-sourced, and the references that offer free abstracts or texts check out just fine. There are obvious benefits to squatting – reduced constipation, less straining – and there’s definitely a strong evolutionary precedent for it, but the claims about cancer, appendicitis, and Crohn’s disease aren’t exactly verifiable. I’d say that squatting to eliminate is technically Primal, but I don’t think it’s necessary. Can’t hurt to try, though (unless you have bad knees and joints, of course). In fact, I’d urge you to give it a shot at least once, as long as you’re physically able. A few of our forum members seem to enjoy it.

Let me know what you think. Ever tried it? Will you now? Experiences? Thanks, everyone!

Photo Credit: Nature’s Platform
TAGS:  Grok

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198 thoughts on “You Don’t Know Squat”

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  1. I’ll have to head out to the woods tomorrow morning and give it a try 😀

    1. I live in China and I often hear other foreigners complaining about the squat toilets here. However, I just can’t deny it–more ends up in the toilet where it belongs compared to the sit down western standard!

      Besides, who really wants to sit on a public toilet seat anyway!?

      1. This was the first thing that came to my mind as well. Although, alas, I have never had the opportunity to use a squat toilet. To be honest I’m a little perplexed by them.

        Do you have to take your pants all the way off?
        What happens if you need to pee too?

      2. But where to put the pants while squatting?
        Down around my akles? The back part would still be in the way…
        I bunch them up in the front? How do I relax holding a bunched up pair of pants?

        1. the trick is to just lower your drawers to your thighs; then squat and go.

        2. I hang them on the wall. I’m not from China, I’m from Malaysia, another asian country. I do have sit toilet at home, but when using public toilet, I don’t want to sit on it. A lot of people have aiming problem that can’t shoot accurately into the bowl, hence I don’t want to sit on it. I always choose squatting toilet while pooping.

        3. just leave your pants on the floor, I have been squatting my whole life, and I was taught to sit…squatting is much more comfortable, less strenuous, and overall easier to get the sh*t out.

      3. Here’s an easy way to squat on a western toilet:

        1. Sit down normally.
        2. Place your hands on the rim behind you and lean on them.
        3. Put your feet up on the rim, one at a time.

        And there you go! Just reverse to get back off.

        1. I’ll need to limber up to try this out. I don’t think I’m quite flexible enough to do the squat, on or off the toilet.

    2. I agree, squatting is definately the best pooping posture. But my knees can’t handle squatting, so I use a “stoolstep”. It totally helps me have great healthy poops.

  2. I think I’ll stick with the “modern” way for a while. Butt, I’m open to trying anything once. 😉

    -Jess

  3. One of my other favorite web sites is http://www.undergroundwellness.com and Sean just posted a video about pooping and how it’s more natural to squat. He uses a stool (no not that kind) to put his feet on to help align for better elimination. Check him out on youtube, do a search for underground wellness.
    P.S. Mark, I just started your Damage Control Formula, I’m on autoship.
    Been wanting to do it for some time and I think nows the time!

    1. Sean’s video perpetuates the myth that propping up your feet is the same as squatting. He has taken all the research on genuine squatting and applied it (without any evidence) to his bogus method. Someone with bad knees who can’t squat can resort to a footstool, but anyone else should squat properly if they want to gain the full benefits.

  4. When I brought my sons to the U.S. from Thailand, they had done nothing but squat. So I wasn’t surprised when I walked in on the oldest to find his feet perched on the toilet seat!

    1. This was an interesting read — having lived in Europe during the 1960’s-1980’s, I’ve seen my share of Turkish & Italian toilets. As a hemerrhoid sufferer, I’m intrigued that squatting might help recovery.

      And with that, I’m gonna go log out! 🙂

  5. Interesting, log, I mean, post. I’ll have to constipate, I mean, contemplate squatting.

  6. This made me laugh several times. Thanks! 🙂

    In all seriousness, I’ve heard of this before, particularly with the hemorrhoid issue. One of the worst things people can do is sit on the toilet and read, and my husband does this all the time! It drives me nuts. Of course, he’s had hemorrhoids, too.

    All you need is a footstool by the toilet to use to help keep your legs up a bit, and it helps with the circulation issue. 🙂

    1. Putting something under your feet while you sit (what I call “imitation squat”) doesnt really make a world of difference, as further imformation I read showed. What I do is, I stand on two large coffee cans, one under each foot and squat over the bowel. A real squat!

  7. I’ve often seen my seven year old son perched on the toilet in a squatting position. He’s a free spirit…and I always chuckle and move on. Now, I may ask him how he does it!!

    By the way…you had a bunch of fun writing this one, didn’t you?

  8. ooo nooo….. now everytime i see the banner on your page of you squatting with your hands in prayer, i think of you taking a primal poo. THX Mark!

  9. It’s amazing how everything works together. Squatting is pretty difficult unless you’re used to going barefoot and you have the required flexibility and muscle strength.

    Another interesting thing I’ve read is that squatting is also the ideal position for childbirth. I’m a man that doesn’t have kids, but all the horror stories I hear about childbirth make me wonder how it could have been done in Grok’s time. It doesn’t seem like many animals have as much trouble with it as us. Maybe we just shouldn’t be laying down to do it? Good “Squatting childbirth” for some easy info.

    1. After having 3 kids all without any pharmacuetical help I can tell you that the best position is the one that makes you feel most comfortable. I really don’t think I would have felt much like squatting plus I think it would have increased the force and speed of the head emerging and caused a lot of tearing.

      1. Cherie’s right on – midwifery, which tends to focus on a more ‘natural’ birth, discourages squatting to push as it vastly increases the risk of tears. The baby shouldn’t be encoruaged to come flying out as fast as possible, the mother’s tissues need time to stretch and adjust.

        One thing is for sure, though – flat on your back with your feet in stirrups for the duration of labor is not optimal.

        The best explanation for the difficulty and pain of human childbirth is being bipeds (and maybe our largish skulls as infants). We are the only primate whose infants come down the birth canal anteriorly (face down) making labor longer and more painful, and difficult for the mother to assist the baby as it emerges – luckily we are the only animal who can assist eachother during birth.

        1. kneeling or on your hands and knees or leaning over a piece of furniture (or your partner) can be nice positions for birth.

        2. I had two kids squatting (or standing) during the entire labor and delivery. Both with very minimal tearing-I was in control of the speed-they did not fly out. They were both under two hour labors.
          Also one of those kids (the other is still an infant) squats to play and poop. She also learned to stand from a squatting position without the aid of furniture.

        3. “we are the only animal that can assist each other during birth”
          not true, also elephants and dolphins as well as us humans.
          questions:
          in what position do hunter-gather tribal women give birth?,
          how do the great apes give birth?

        4. Japanses researchers have filmed chimps giving birth, to prove that they also deliver anteriorly. Check YouTube.

      2. Agreed, an unmedicated woman’s body tells her how to move and what position to get in.

      3. I had my child on my knees and resting back on my heels. 2.5 hours, not a stitch, no drugs and went home that day. Anyway I was on here cause my boy now 6 squats on the toilet to do poos, noone showed him this, he just does it.

  10. Nice SEO piece. This ought to get you some “organic” traffic “honking for the right-of-way” to “drop in” for a read.

    I like these kind of posts! Recipes are tasty looking, but I find this kind of information a lot more useful. Recipes are dime-a-dozen and I can modify most any of them to be primal.

    How many articles will appear in front of us about the correct way to poop this week? Probably ONE (this one) unless other primal bloggers feed off (bad wording choice) the hype of this post.

    1. SEO piece indeed! Just look at the URL:
      /squat-poop

      ^^

      Steve Pavlina of stevepavlina.com has mentioned that one of his highest traffic articles is on cooking brown rice, despite his site being devoted to personal development topics. I imagine he gets a lot of loyal readers via such digression posts.

  11. I’ve been squatting for most bms for the past several months. By far the most noticeable change is how easy (no pushing required, just relax), fast (5 seconds of relaxing while squatting versus a minute of pushing while sitting), and complete elimination is. These benefits by themselves are already enough to choose squatting over sitting in my mind without even considering any measurable medical benefit.

    I would recommend that everyone who is medically able try squatting for a week. The first couple of times you try it you might be uncomfortable due to the unfamiliarity of the position.

    Be careful if you are squatting on a toilet seat that isn’t securely fastened to the toilet. Also, watch for splashback (eww!) if the water is deep. You may want to lower the water level in your toilet.

    I think it’s a shame that this issue is so taboo and most doctors haven’t heard of it.

    1. While I haven’t done any squatting, I have been doing a modified sit for a few months. Agreed that relaxing is a much more pleasant experience.

    2. Try overlapping a couple layers of toilet paper in the bowl (two connected squares in one direction then two connected squares on top of that in another direction ought to be sufficient) before you “assume the position”. The paper floats on the surface of the water like a raft and helps eliminate (hee, hee) the possibility of splashback as well as any loud kerplunk-esque sound effects.

  12. I also found out about this few months ago, tried it and not going back 😉 The effort is reduced considerably.

    You can do it easily with a normal toilet, you don’t need any special platforms for it 🙂 You just need to practice getting on a little bit, so that the plastic ring doesn’t get too much damage (like sliding it off from its base and falling yourself to bathroom floor…).

    Splashing is a little problem, but if you aim a little “off” so that your stuff hits the wall before anything else, you’ll be alright (if you don’t mind about the added cleaning effort :)).

    1. Pro tip:
      Put down a “landing strip” of toilet paper. 9 out of 10 times this eliminates the need for cleanup!

  13. This reminds me of camping. The most noticeable difference at camp is that there’s no traffic jam and things move faster.

    Squatting while defecating is a good skill to have, if for nothing else but just in case you make a trip to places like China.

    I love the play on words and puns in this post…

  14. While it makes sense to me, installing “a hole in the floor” custom plumbing may be a wee bit hard to get friends and family to use.

  15. Before I can ‘advance’ to pooping – I need to get better at squatting. I sometimes try to squat while waiting for the bus and I need to work hard not to fall backwards.

    Here is an amusing video which actually teaches you how to squat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWTmg4dHiKg

      1. Thanks so much for this link! A friend showed me this years ago, but I couldn’t find it again.

  16. are you going to have a video competition for this one??? ‘most primal squat videos’ extra points for using a prickly leaf for TP

  17. fantastic post! being from the caribbean where most people do this, americans/westerners generally don’t know squat. this ignorance can be a pain in the butt! of course, i would love to see squatting become far more poopular.

  18. This has always been normal in India, where I’m from and yes it is indeed a lot easier than sitting, unless, of course, you have knee problems.
    In fact you even get toilets (commodes) with a “foot rest” allowing you to squat if you lift the seat. If you lower it, it’s a regular toilet.

    Off topic: I recently bought your book and had it delivered by my sister who lives in the US. Great read. Just letting you know you’re popular halfway round the world 🙂

    1. My biggest problem in India was using the squat toilets with a bad knee. At least with the PB diet, I don’t have IBS anymore.
      – Rob

      1. by PB diet you mean the “primal Blueprint” diet book, am i correct? yes i am new to the site and lovin it, great info, already into researching the Paleo diet, this seems to take it to another level, especially with the whole squat to poo method.

    1. Very true about the less TP, also you dont have to ‘sit’ there wondering if you’re emptied out or still to go..

  19. Can you sit and lean forward? That would put you in pretty much the same position. Never tried it, just wondering.

    1. No, I’ve tried both leaning and squatting, and simply leaning forward doesn’t work. Possibly due to the different angle of gravity, things don’t seem to quite line up the same as with squatting, and also you no longer have gravity fully assisting in evacuation.

    2. …also, when your weight is fully supported by your feet, a greater torque is applied to your hip joints than when your thighs are supported by the seat. For me, this extra stretch at the hips helps open things up so stuff can come out more easily. At least that’s how it feels for me.

  20. Just be careful trying to squat on a western toilet. Porcelain can shatter and cause cuts in …ugghh… bad places. That and replacing a toilet is a pain!

  21. Is it necessary to have the seat down to squat on it? It would seem safer and better for the toilet to squat on the bowl with the seat raised.

      1. I know this is 7 year old LOL

        To me the choice is obvious: either you take off your shoes and squat on the plastic ring, if you know it’s clean and it can tolerate your weight (I only do this at home) or you keep your shoes and pants on and squat on the porcelain (this is what I do outside.)

        I can also attest to the benefits of squatting, both in time, “completeness,” cleanliness, and reduction / elimination of hemorrhoids.

  22. When my kids have had trouble “doing their thang” they’ve gotten into the squat position without any suggestions from me, just something they’ll naturally do. Squating to poop seems instinctive then, until its conditioned out of us– like most instincts seem to be in todays world.

  23. You don’t need any fancy contraptions or a hole in the floor… Just lift up the seat and squat on the rim. Don’t worry it won’t break ( I weigh 195, and I haven’t fallen in thus far)… I do have to admit there is a learning curve. Ideally you should be able to squat comfortably with your heels on the floor before trying the rim squat!

    1. That thing looks fragile.

      But it gave me a good idea…I’ma build my own! Thanks for the link.

  24. I’m definitely a squat-lover…when we’re out camping there’s nothing like finding a good spot, enjoying all that nature has to offer & relieving oneself naturally. I must say, it does give a better poop 🙂

  25. I have been travelling to China several times a year since 1994 and was forced to learn how to squat.

    Unfortunately in China the trend is to replace squat toilets with western toilets – in some cities it is now mandatory to install western style thrones in new homes.

    In some older apartments the shower is installed over the squat toilet. It’s best to watch where one stands when showering or one could put one’s foot in it; so to speak.

  26. Squating is also the normal way to give birth in some cultures. The baby seems to simply slide out into the Mother’s hands.

  27. We stumbled upon this method almost a year ago. Our kids have been using essentially glorified chamber pots (the baby bjorn “potty” that sits right on the ground) since they were old enough to climb on (we sort of do elimination communication style potty-learning). FTR, they are 2 & 4 now. My husband and I have reverted back to our old sitting habits but I’m intrigued to start squatting again and see if there is a noticeable difference. We haven’t had any bowel complaints in quite awhile (we’ve been on an allery-restricted diet for nearly 2yrs and we’ve been paleo for almost 3m now).

  28. An indelicate question for the experienced–do you have to take your pants all the way off?

    1. Nope… You’ve just got to make sure to aim properly haha

    2. It’s easier if you do take your pants all the way off (this is what I do — at home of course), but I’m sure you can do it without taking them off.

      If you need to climb onto toilet to squat, you need to pull you pants down far enough to ‘clear the route’, but keep them fairly high so you can climb onto the toilet and position yourself properly.

  29. OK, I have long held the belief that the modern toilet has led to the laziness of the westerner. My theory is that waste elimination is necessary and humans don’t seem to just “go in the woods” therefore, even when old, disabled or simply tired, having to have the muscle control and ability to squat is essential. I share this with many people who usually look at me like I’m insane, but I firmly believe in that theory.

    Also, the book “How to Sh!t in the Woods” is quite informative.

  30. U.S. midwives, at least home-birth midwives, certainly encourage squatting for childbirth. Squatting opens the pelvic outlet better than any other position. There are plenty of other good positions for birthing, but lying on the back ain’t one of them!

  31. So many puns lol! I’ve squatted when I’ve gone fishing, hunting, etc… I mean it’s not like we’re going to drive all the way to a toilet just to go! I rather enjoyed it :P.
    Squatting while peeing is a whole different thing… It really sucks to get pee on your shoes!!!

  32. I can’t work it out. Why are the Ozzies and Kiwis (Australians & New Zealanders) so anal?

    Ozzies have books and books of photos of loos (toilets in outhouses or just a modest shelter) with a view. Fantastic views over the Pacific or a mountain, valley or beautiful rolling hills. But this craze is new to me (an Ozzie by birth).

    Look at Nature’s Platform Website at the link:
    “Gems from Down Under — Australian Perspectives on Squatting”. It’s not as if their website has loads of other links.

    Then Mikeythehealthycaveman gives a link to a NZer’s website: http://lillipad.co.nz/order-lillipad/order-lillipad.html

    Supporting this company will help a village in an underdeveloped country [Vila Ebule Rural Training Centre Workshop here in Port Vila, Vanuatu].

    Get off your butt onto a squat for a healthy and hygienic way to go by buying a beautiful Lillipad Squat Toilet Platform. You’ll never regret it!

    “Squat on the loo ? it’s good for you!”

  33. I don’t need to squat. I eat lots of veggies and that helps keep me on the reg’lar ole pot, no problems. 😛

    1. What do you do if you have a limited dorsiflexion and your ankles?

  34. I spent a year in Afgan and had to squat most of the times. It for sure was a diffrent experence but you get used to it. I would say it was easier, and I did notice my kids did it nartraly when the had to go

  35. My wife spent time in Pakistan training Occupational therapy and thought that because of the squatting postition used for ‘pooping’ certainly helped hip mobility and also reported very little hip problems in even the eldest of patients

    Great article

  36. I’m Sold – got up early this morning, starting reading this post… I’ve been primal for almost two months now – It has changed my life – I was a chronic sufferer of IBS since a child – NO MORE – instead of constant cramping, bloating and 4-5 ‘movements’ a day, NO intestinal issues, and 1 movement a day – now, that movement has been ‘hard’ to move at times – and this post has solved that – half way down the read – an urge it me – looked at the the diagrams – went to execute – and no extended workout needed to get things ‘moving’ – I’M A BELIEVER – just hope my wife doesn’t happen upon me while squatting away – she just won’t understand 😉 (still workin’ on her to get primal)

  37. Thanks for the link love (I’m the inventor of Nature’s Platform).

    One small correction. The Roman toilets and the ones at Mohenjo-Daro were almost certainly used in the squatting position. I contacted Dr. Bindeswar Pathak, the world’s foremost expert on toilet history, about his website’s claim that they were “western-style” toilets. I asked him how he knows they were sat upon. He admitted that he doesn’t know. He was just repeating the assumption made by western archaeologists.

    Regarding your skepticism about the link between colon cancer and western toilets, a study will be published soon confirming the link.

    Anyway, thanks again for your openness to this vital knowledge. The world is rapidly waking up.

  38. Very common here in Hong Kong every public WC has a squatter _

  39. Okay, you all are a bit convincing, but… as everyone is always talking about mankind evolving… we’re not done yet…so… maybe I’ll just do my part for evolution by doing the standard sit, relax, and read…

    1. I doubt that bowell problems in middle age affect reproductive fitness, so I doubt that human intestinal function will adapt to the seated toilet in the foreseeable future 🙂

    1. Some people (including me) mentioned this earlier. In short, aim for the shallow end or lower the water level in the toilet (lowering the water level saves water too).

    2. What kind of bolders are you guys dropping to be worried about splashes….LOL.

  40. I’ve been squatting for 3 years. Cleared up my piles. I also find that the bladder empties better.

  41. That’s the posture I naturally use on the toilet anyway.
    Glad to see it has some foundation and I’m not just being unneccessarily wierd.

    In fact, I’m squatting on my chair while I’m typing this.

    I guess I just never grew out of it. I’ve found no inconveniences with it.

    1. Angelfish, your comment about squatting on your chair as you typed gave me an unintentional laugh (not at you!)

      I just finished watching an incredible Japanese series called “Deathnote” and the protagonist, a world-class genius squatted in ALL his chairs.

      When asked, he said that to sit otherwise “decreased his reasoning efficiency by 40%.”

      So now you can say you’re just keeping yourself up to super-genius level with your posture!

  42. Used squat toilets for years in Asia. Liked not having my bum pressing against a dirty toilet seat but took some balancing to keep my pant legs from touching the urine-soaked floor while I squatted. Using a squat toilet while wearing a narrow skirt and panty hose is very awkward.

  43. Talk about tmi, this post is full of it…heee heee. interesting insight, in spite of the taboo topic.

  44. This is a really interesting article. Yes, I’ll look for a convenient opportunity to try the “squat”. One of the things low-carb/paleo has done for me is to free me from extremely painful IBS.

    Eventually, I’d like to move from using water based toilets to using a composting system. Being able to use a squat position might really simplify construction on such a system…

  45. Yes, yes, I tried it. Every day since I read the post, in fact. I like it. Fast and easy. I spend no time at all in the bathroom. Having been burdened with an irritating roid for quite a while, I’m hoping this change will help the healing process.

  46. I’m so happy I found this post. Honestly I haven’t been brave enough to address this on my blog or with anyone in real life. I’m a former IBS sufferer, low carb cured me, but it was then that I started thinking about toilet matters. I would try different positions; sitting straight up feet flat then tip toeing, leaning forward feet flat then tip toeing, putting my feet up on the wall in front of me, on the walls beside me and finally using a tall kitchen step to get my legs raised and this is what I’ve been doing since I was IBSing until now. And I’ve kept on doing it because the gravity really seems to make the whole experience more comfortable. I checked out every link submitted in the comments and the kitchen step I use (from Target) seems to do exactly the same thing as all those fancy steps, the only one I like better is the Nature’s Platform but I’m extremely cheap and will not be buying anytime soon. Thanks. I feel all vindicated now.

  47. The FAQ page of NaturesPlatform.com explains why sitting with your feet propped up is quite bogus. For decades, those who sold footstools took advantage of western ignorance to promote this method. Anyone who’s grown up squatting would find footstools ludicrous. It’s only for those who are physically incapable of squatting.

    The same FAQ page (question #6) shows how you can make your own simple and effective platform if price (or extreme obesity) rule out Nature’s Platform.

    1. Billions of people squat properly and maybe a few thousand use a footstool. Children are the real experts and universally prefer genuine squatting. If you find no difference between the two, enjoy your “wishful squatting.” All the diseases caused by the western toilet were caused by deviating from nature. But I really don’t have to persuade anyone, since nature’s design is inscribed in every person’s DNA.

  48. I’ve found (since I’m poor and have to come up with cool alternatives to get the job done) that if I keep the seat up, a kitchen chair facing the toilet bowl works wonderfully for squatting.

    What I do is I place a wooden kitchen chair facing the toilet, and get it as close to the bowl as possible – mine fits about an inch or two over the lip of the toilet bowl when the seat is up. I squat on the chair and hold on to the back of the kitchen chair (which is facing me.) My butt is over the toilet bowl enough that nothing is going to miss the toilet, but my feet are firmly planted on the chair while I squat.

    Oh, and no, we don’t bring the chair back into the dining room 😉

  49. My 7 year old son walked in on my mid squat this morning. He looked at me, and calmly said:

    “So, Dada, you finally figured out that it’s okay to go like that?”

    I reckon I did, son!!

  50. Squatting is far easier than sitting. Being in India, I have had the occasion to have to use both types and squatting is far easier and less of a strain than sitting. The additional benefit is that it keeps the knee joints flexible and is the best method for those with constipation.

  51. I share almost all of your principles, and found your site a few days ago, beginning with the blueprint article (which I found entertaining as well as intelligent).

    Anyway, I had a bout with hemorrhoids a couple of months ago, and I’ve been squatting ever since. And you what, I prefer it. Great info!

    Keep up the excellent work.

  52. wow, the amount of comments on this article is insane! Actually, not surprising!

    I tried it this weekend on a camping trip, with a toilet. The only thing you have to watch for is the splash factor!

  53. lol randomness made me google this.

    but i saw a show on telly that said very similar things. ive tried it and it does wonders.

    going to the toilet is so much easier, and faster.. i play a song, go to the toilet and come back before the song has even finished.

  54. You say, “These claims seem a bit more dubious, judging from this study’s conclusion that aberrant crypt foci (ACF) is the most likely cause of colorectal cancer.”

    That’s like saying the claim that smoking causes lung cancer is invalid because it’s actually caused by mutations in the K-ras proto-oncogene. Smoking causes the mutations, just as a filthy, inflamed colon causes aberrant crypt foci.

  55. when in doubt do as we once did. we probably already sit all too much as is!

  56. I tend to only squat if I’m constipated and it helps way more then the regular sitting position on the toilet. I never have to strain when squatting. Also I gave birth natural without pain meds and I naturally pushed while in the squatting position while leaning forward and it was not painful at all. Squatting is the way to go

  57. I’ve been squatting for a year and a half; I started out of desperation after I was having bleeding every time I used the toilet. Now at the age of 40, I’m hemorrhoid-free for the first time since I was 14. Unfortunately, I can’t go anywhere where I don’t have TOTALLY private toilet accommodations. No more visits to relatives, ect. I guess that’s the price I pay not to have it look like I stuck a knife up my *** every time I have a bowel movement…

  58. Cheers to you Mark – one very interesting article on #2’s!

    I’ve found with everything south of the border (but not down Mexico way), that eating Primal and [living Primal/] exercising a lot means I have virtually no evacuation issues!

  59. I’m a natural squater!! lol. I’ve been doing it all of my life and i never knew why.I tryed sitting a few times to make myself fit into the normal western way but it was so uncomfortable. i just thought it was another reason why i’m wierd …until i read this post!I had no idea about the medical benifits.Thanks for the information! Oh & more than likely i’ll be squatting for childbirth when that time comes.

  60. Hello,
    Thanks for sharing Such a nice information with us.I really like your Information Which you have provided

  61. ive tried to use the squatting toilet in foreign countries but find it too difficult and uncomfortable!

  62. Ya, I agree that all you have to do is look at children. They instinctively squat when pooping…I can recall my little cousins squatting over the toilet when they were small. Ancestors and children can educate us immensely.

  63. Great post, pooping is a very forgotten aprt of leading a very healthy life. Get rid of all that toxic waste!

    TOM

  64. Note about the splash issue: I learned this in College. Take a few sheets of toilet paper and lay it flat on the water where your poop will fall. This will eliminate any splash and noise.

  65. I do this when I go (only at home though) I started doing this all of a sudden, and I found it comfortable. I started thinking it was bad and tried to break this habit, but after reading this I think I should just forget about that and do my business!

  66. You won’t slip if you put the seat up, wear your vibrams to perch on the rim. Pants off when time permits other wise just drop ’em and exercise a little common sense.

  67. “more than half showed marked improvement within weeks or days, while the rest took a bit longer.”

    Mark, I’m really surprised you posted this one about hemorrhoids. This kind of healing is going to happen in that time frame anyway, and “took a bit longer” should be well below your concern for good science.

    1. Take a fresh look at the table he linked to. All those people had already had hemorrhoids for months and many for years… so you can hardly claim it was “going to happen in that time frame anyway.”

      Essentially, they have served as their own control group. Science! Whee!

  68. i always squat like today when my poop wouldnt come out in skool i had to squat how many times do u poop in a day

  69. Go camping and poop in the woods. Your life will never be the same (for better or for worse, depending on who you are).

  70. This is my first post ever on MDA.
    And I just have to say…
    Because of this post, I just had the greatest crap of my life.
    Woo!

  71. Now I’m really angry. I had a hysterectomy for the sole purpose of fixing my pelvic floor. The fix didn’t last and it was “fixed” again. The second fix had to be fixed. The third doctor did the best job, but it needs to be fixed again. They all made it sound like it was just my “weak tissue”. Now I know better.

  72. Tried squatting for the first time after stumbling upon the technique after hem surgery. I’m a believer!

    After the surgery for the first 10 days, I strained like no ones business to move anything and it wasn’t complete. It was painful, time consuming and inefficient.

    I tried for the first time to squat yesterday. A little nervous, the job was done completely, with little to no strain, and very quickly. I was amazed.

    I did it again for the second time today and had the same results.

    I only wish I would have known about this years ago. It would have “eliminated” a lot of issues I’ve dealt with in this area.

  73. I got the lillipad platform! I had horrible pain and a hemorrhoid after I gave birth and I googled stuff until I came across the info about squatting. Out of desperation, I tried it. I didn’t climb up on my toilet, though… I just used a container and tried squatting like the picture, hanging onto my tub because I kept falling backward. I was REALLY desperate. I cried every time I had to go.

    Anyway, we eventually got a lillipad. I don’t care who knows about it. It looks like a pretty piece of furniture. I actually took it with us last week when we visited our in-laws because I don’t want to and can’t go sitting anymore. I feel like I’ve been eliminating the retard way my entire life and I can’t go back.

  74. Squating to poop works great for me. I’m not quite hardcore enough to go in the woods behind my house, but I use the “poop box” discussed on underground wellness youtube channel. Ever since I started using it, poops come out very easy and almost always very clean :D.

  75. Ever “been” to a campground or public toilet in France?
    Used to joke about the “Hollywood footsteps” provided to squat on in a china base over a hole in the ground.

  76. I squatted to poo for the first time ever today, and did it again the 2nd and 3rd time. so much poop was coming out it was incredible. i’ve not felt this kind of clarity in years

  77. Not to get too graphic, but if you eat plenty of salads and avoid starches, you will evacuate without the least strain and spend scarcely a moment on the toilet. You’ll find that cleaning yourself is a lot easier as well.

    Aside from plenty of salad, we make a “green drink” daily: blend a bunch of kale, broccoli flowers, piece of ginger, piece of turmeric, half a dozen tomatoes, and a cup of very strong green tea. Add water to taste. Drink it down. You get a lot of veggies in a hurry, and a lot of anti-oxidants as well.

  78. I gave myself a perianal haematoma from straining my pooper too hard, its extremely painful. Alas, I attempted the method below: sit on the seat, bring your knees up to your chin and put your feet in the toilet seat. Best poop I ever pooped. Slipped out like I’d been drinking WD40. I have to offer my total support for the elevated squat. Because of the sitting method, my ass hurts from blood pooling in it =(

  79. You know what squatting is great!! I have had 4 kids and was having trouble with a prolapsing bladder/uterus. So rather than have surgery to basically tie everything back up – I did some research and found out that hardly any women in the squatting parts of the world have this problem. So…………legs up on garbage can/kids potty seat or yeah rim. I did this for literally only 2 weeks (well 13 days to be exact) and no longer felt like my insides were going to fall out on the ground. Now when we go camping (well in the RV) i take my poop stool – my husband cracks up everytime he sees me walking to the public toilets with my bright orange stool. LOL I LOVE TO SQUAT!! YAHOO.

  80. This is the best squat bench I have found to date. It is simple, well made, fits into any bathroom and reasonably priced, and the design is completely comfortable and natural. Best of all it is not a bulky contraption. Chcek out the website: thegravitystool.com

  81. I just started reading about the Primal Blueprint thing and I find out I don’t know squat. I’ve got a long way to go.

  82. I am an airline pilot sitting (not there) in a hotel room and I just went to poop after working out. I’m a hemorrhoid sufferer and I was thinking there has to be a better way…so I googled and voila! here is the answer. I’ve definitely got to give it a try on my next effort. BTW, where did the the phrases “give a sh*t” and “take a sh*t” originate? As George Carlin said, it’s really more correct to say that one is going to “leave a sh*t”. More research!!

  83. I’ve done this for a year now. When I began, I had hemorrhoids….not anymore. Unbelievable.

    1. This really works great. All the bloating, excess gas is all gone.

  84. As a Restorative Exercise Specialist™ (biomechanics and natural movement)my grand daddy of all goals is to get myself into a proper squat. Not the kind of squat that causes you to pee on your shoes in the woods (like the one in the photo at the top of the post *notice there isn’t a lumbar curve), but a squat with an UNTUCKED tailbone.I like the Squatty Potty, I can do a proper squat supporting my own weight over the toilet. Hamstrings and calf muscles need to be lengthened in order to do a proper squat, esp. if you have been wearing positive heeled shoes and sitting in chairs most of your life.

  85. maybe im doing something wrong but i cant squat like that without falling on my ass

  86. Islam prescribed this method of pooping 1400 years ago even for peeing.

    All the benefits identified with modern technology was identified 1400 years ago.

    Than will ye not believe?

    Just like this Islam is the solution to all the world problems.

    Believe so that ye may prosper.

    Jazaks

  87. I find that sitting and leaning forward at about a 30 degree or less angle allows for flow and as it flows gradually straighten to 90 degree….plop…

  88. I just tried it then and i have to say that im never gonna poop sitting again!

  89. The reason all Americans have bad knees is because we’ve been able to sit on a toilet our whole life. If we squatted just 1-3 times a day like the rest of the world, we’d all be in good shape.

  90. Its also pretty convenient to put your feet on the rim of the toilet and squat poop that way. be careful of the splash though! LOL

  91. We, Indians, have been squatting in natural posture for ages and have been following the same now. But many urban indians are following the western culture and changing to WC (Western Commode), what a paradox

  92. Some people and some sites that sell squatting stools and platforms warn that toilets may break or come loose from the floor. I’m curious about this, whether it really happens frequently or if it is a warning designed to sell products. I find it easy to put my feet on the rim of the seat, but I’m concerned now about possible injury or destruction of the toilet.

  93. Wondering now if the added weight on assuming the squat position on the toilet seat might damage or destabilise the toilet itself, and so we should get squat stools, just adds comic urgency (pun intended) to the saying
    “It’s no use standing on the seat, the bugs in here can jump six feet”

  94. Haven’t tried squatting in a long time but there is a lot of theory that regular sitting toilets cause people to have prostatitis like pain by weaking pelvic muscle flexibilty and strength. People in India and China where squating is prevelant do not have this problem.

  95. Squat toilets are fine most of the time, and much more sanitary because you don’t have to touch anything. Only problem I see is that in much of the world they aren’t connected to a functioning sewer system that prevents sewer gas from backing up. Also, they are fine when you are young, with both legs and your balance intact. If you are handicapped, elderly, drunk, in high heels etc. they are probably impossible.

  96. since it is proved beyond all doubt that squatting is the healthier and more ergonomic way to poop, I hope this fact is brought more and more to the public domain as many unsuspecting people over here in India and other developing nations are unsuspectingly going in for the western sitting loo not knowing what is in store for them and their bowels.

    also, even though you may continue sitting, at least allow your children to follow their correct instincts to squat as it is really the right way to do it

    over here we get dual commodes which is a sitting loo that has squatting supports on the rim below the seat. this i feel is the most considerate – giving people a choice depending on how they are inclined to do the job.

  97. My 5 yr old and 2 yr old sons perch in a squatting position to poop. I taught them that. Glad to know that it really is the best position for pooping.

  98. I have been squatting for over 5 years now and love it. Besides a couple of loose toilets, I have no problems and the time I’m in the bathroom is so minimal when compared to my father.

    For those of you who feel uncomfortable with hip or leg strain while in the squatt position, look up the Egoscue Method, which is postural alignment therapy(which I also do), get you body back into anatomical alignment and watch the strain fade away. It’s all about the posture!

  99. I have been born in the Western world, but I have been squatting for my whole life, I don’t know why, but it’s the only way it works for me. I can only use the sitting position if I can really not hold it anymore, but for the mild urge, the only way is squatting. I use regular Western toilets, though, it is supposed to be dangerous, but as I said, I cannot do it otherwise. I stumbled on this site while looking for a special toilet seat to install in a new house that better suits my life-long habits.

  100. Tried a pseudo-squat with a foot stool and it’s already helped! I’ve always felt like I was never evacuating totally and I would spend 20 mins. on average on the toilet; I could feel things open up even in the pseudo-squat. I’m totally having my husband build a platform. Darn you, Western notions of proper evacuation procedures!

  101. I am Chinese and I’d just returned home after ten years of stay in France.
    I find the pictures very interesting on Nature’s Platform, where they put the ‘platform’ over the seat. It reminds me of the platform my grandma installed for my grandpa over the traditional toilet that requires squatting, so that he could sit to finish what he had to finish. In fact, he had previously risen up a bit too fast and had hit himself on the head over the plumbing. He was sent immediately to the hospital and was diagnosed having a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 65 at the time.
    I’ve just googled around in Chinese, and it is interesting to note that, while it is pretty much well accepted among Western readers who are interested in non-conventional medicines, squatting to evacuate is highly criticized in the Chinese blogosphere.
    For those who are interested and can manage to read Chinese, please read this article from a very popular website on science. http://www.guokr.com/article/317652/
    Globally, the author argues that a bigger recto-anal angle will help to release the tension and to alleviate the difficulty for those who suffer from constipation. But if you are constipated, you will be so even if you squat. I can prove that. I suffered of it when I was a teenager, probably because I loved reading too much. Now I am not, though I use a sitting toilet.

    As Mark said, there might not be a cause and effect link between constipation and squatting. Habit changing, such as travelling may make you constipate. The fact that you suppress your need to evacuate every time you deem it inappropriate will train your body to hold it.

    For information, I do find that bending to one’s knees helps when one is sitting.

    That’s my tuppence contribution. Thanks for reading.

    1. Constipation is sometimes caused by incomplete development of the nerves that generate peristalsis. This is a mild form of Hirschsprung’s Disease. The nerves toward the end of the colon are sparse or nonexistent. If so, squatting will help, but will not cure it.

  102. Just squat over a small, low pail on the floor beside the toilet. Then transfer the contents to the toilet. Then you can sit on the toilet to wipe. The pail should contain some water, otherwise it’s too messy.

  103. I’ve tried pooping while squatting both on the toilet rim and on the seat, facing forward and also facing the tank. But this was just way too precarious, hard on my feet, and limited leg spread.

    What I do now is simply squat on the flat, 3″ wide bathtub rim and poop into a small pail (containing some water) located on the floor below while I’m lightly grasping a hand-hold on the opposite wall in front of me for balance. This position has been reasonably comfortable–even for several minutes when necessary.

  104. I tried the “potty squat” and wound up peeing on my cat who was in the bathroom with me. It was just a teeny sprinkle, but it happened. It was hilarious!! He never noticed, and I cleaned him up right away.

  105. All you Primal people still poop into water!? What would a caveman do? Why, poop in a bucket of course. Check out humanure.com. Joseph Jenkins is a minor god. Also, what a load of caca talking about women tearing etc. while squatting through childbirth. I’m a birth doula and this is an especially effective position for birthing. The hips are opened and maximum space is made for baby’s passage through the bones. I gave birth to two healthy babes while squatting.

  106. I used to go regularly to a certain bookshop to look at a certain section of books, but would always have to leave before I was ready to because of the sudden overwhelming urge to poop. I used to joke that it was the fault of the bookshop somehow as it seemed to happen every time I went in there. Now I know the reason why. The section I was looking at was level to the flood and I had to squat to look at the books!

  107. You really should not give people the idea of squatting on a porcelain toilet. They are not made to handle this and people can be severely injured when they break under the pressure, as I recently saw on Reddit: http://imgur.com/a/GMHNn (graphic image)

  108. “They made mistakes, sure, but they also made great strides, and to simply wipe that history clean and discard the wisdom contained therein is foolish. If we do that, we risk flushing vital information down the toilet.”

    Hahahaha I just love what you did here!!! Really made my day. Awesome article

  109. I recently tried this out and SQUATTING REALLY IS BETTER, after I finished my business my bowels felt completey empty.

    This is my procedure for squatting on ‘modern’ western toilets:

    1. Take off pants and underpants completey and place aside – (OPTIONAL, you can also take off your shirt)

    2. Next don’t sit on the toilet but, place my legs on the seat

    3. Finally go into the squatting postion and release you bowels clean

    I hope many other people try out squatting, it really helps!

  110. I tried your procedure (Name) and it is awesome, my bowels do feel really clean after squatting, but I wouldn’t recommend fat people to try this it might actually break the toilet seat no offence.

  111. Im 22 years old, and Ive been doing this my whole life, or at least as far back as I can remember: it may be f*d up, but i get both my feet up on the toilet bowl into a full squat every time i take a dump. Exceedingly relieving.

  112. All my life for some reason I’ve been a squatter , I live in america i just cant poop by just sitting on the toilet . To this day in the 19 years and some months of life , I have never suffered from constipation or hemroids as many sitters do. I’m not sure if its correlation or causation but either way i think I will be a squatter all my life

  113. First of all, love all the puns.

    Secondly, I love going camping, especially primitive camping. The first couple times I squatted in the woods to poop, it was awesome; I still enjoy it to this day. I like to call it “poo with a view”. 😛 I never thought about trying it at home, but hey, why not!

  114. My people! I finally found them! And here I always thought I was the only one who squats. I’ve been squatting all my life just cause (I guess I failed poty-training lol) and people always told me it’s weird but they can suck it. It’s healthy 🙂 and effortless

  115. This is a disgusting topic. Shame on all those who could not stop themselves from sharing their revolting, dirty habits!

  116. I’m telling you baby: once you go squat, there’s no going back! I feel I’ve actually gained:
    – Less flatulence
    – No stress on my colon, bladder, or rectum
    – Less time invested in doing these business
    – And the best of all: GREAT OVERALL EXPERIENCE!

    It’s a must try.

  117. The squatty potty saved my life. As aout menopausal woman suffering from a rectocele nd pelvic prolapse I was never able to fully eliminate stools. It always felt like some was still stuck in my rectum and indeed it was. Impossible to fully evacuate, even when doing contortions and splitting with wads of paper to get it all out (it was filling the pocket created by the herniated rectum and getting stuck instead of coming out. . Then I saw the show Shark tank nd saw the squatty potty. The very next day I went out to the mall and bought one. I cancelled my surgery now I can feel normal nd avoid surgery and all its risks. Squatting is necessary for those of us who have rectocele.

  118. Neeters, sitting with your feet propped up is not squatting. Footstools like the Squatty Potty are taking advantage of the public’s ignorance about this. Almost everyone can learn to squat if they practice every day. The benefits of really squatting are much greater. Nature designed humans to squat, not to sit on a toilet seat with our feet elevated.

  119. I am very familiar with this topic and it is very true as far as emptying out . It works ! I have been doing this for years because I have problems ever since I had my gall bladder removed. If I do feel bloated I assume the position and it helps.

  120. I am really getting tired of all these articles saying that humans were meant to squat to poop and not sit to poop.. As a person who is disabled(Spina Bifida), I never squatted much when I was a baby due to balance and mobility issues. After I started walking at the age of two years old, I could squat but not like deep like the natural human resting position. My disability will not allow me to squat to parallel and below parallel. I squat a little above parallel. No amount of stretching will correct the way I squat. For me to be able to squat on the toilet safely, I would have to hold on to something to prevent me from falling off. So don’t go telling me that humans were meant to squat when those people who are disabled are unable to squat or can’t squat. deep..

  121. I’ve always pooped while standing–hands on knees, legs bent and spread widely apart. Have never sat or squatted to poop. Just the way I was taught, I guess.

  122. I still wonder if squatting to poop is really natural.

    The real squat, with high knees, shown on pooping platform websites, may be good for resting (if you can accept a dangling scrotum resting on the dirt, pebbles, and other debris), but may not be practical for pooping outside on the ground. On a pooping platform there’s a vast open space underneath your buttocks; but when squatting on the ground you only have, at most, a couple of inches of ground clearance, so you may end up with very messy buttocks (and flabby buttocks skin is difficult to clean).

    I can perform a reasonably decent deep squat; but when I’m “squatting” to poop in the outdoors, I’m always supported on my toes with hands on the ground between my knees for balance. This positions my thighs parallel to the ground and raises my buttocks farther above the ground for stool clearance, but also seems anatomically equivalent to sitting on a toilet.

    Some people even use various modified standing positions, especially for pooping in the outdoors. Sometimes it just seems to be the best choice because you don’t feel like squatting, or the ground is unsuitable for squatting (vegetated or rocky), or squatting would more clearly identify your activity to observers. Does it work? Yes, it easily evacuates the rectum as far as I can tell.

    Anyway, just wondering. If I had access to a pooping platform at home, I would probably give it an extended trial.

    1. You can make your own safe and sturdy squatting platform for just a few dollars, using these instructions: http://www.naturesplatform.com/faq.html#over300 . Regarding your question about whether squatting is natural, surely you’re not suggesting that porcelain thrones might be more natural? All primates squat and we are no different anatomically. And consider dogs. They carefully select their site for defecation for many of the reasons you cited. The need to select a site is not an argument against the naturalness of squatting. Squatting is perfectly natural, as is our ability to wisely select (or devise) a suitable site.

  123. The deep squat with high knees just doesn’t seem suitable for ground pooping despite the anatomical arguments. Instead, one is naturally inclined to lower the knees in order to raise the buttocks. This modified squat position would seem to produce an anal-rectal angle similar to that produced by a sitting-type porcelain toilet. If this modified squat position is our real, natural pooping position, then the toilet itself might be largely acceptable.

    1. No, you just don’t have the squat bone due to life long non-usage.

      Children and Asians still have the squat bone and can make a high knee squat comfortably.

      That is why Asians have the highest average IQ scores, they haven’t lived a life of clogged feces backing up into their brains.

  124. Ok, I was forced to try this. My back seized up while in hospital and I wasn’t able to sit. With a bit of physio support, I managed to walk, stand and squat within 2 weeks, but it was a full 2 months before I was able to sit. So squat it was! When I started to be able to sit again, my back would cramp up quite badly when I tried to sit down for a poop. I kept trying it for another 2 or 3 months, but it didn’t improve in that time. After 5 months of being forced to squat, I finally got used to it and don’t think I’ll ever go back to sitting down again now.

  125. Right now I have the opposite problem. Lower-back pain and can’t squat, but can sit with only minor discomfort.

    Personally, I still think the modern toilet is a wonderful development–at least the lower ones. It reduces much of the stress of elimination–compared to squatting–and you can take your time and sit in relative ease and comfort. In the early morning or during the night you can stagger in to the bathroom on unsteady legs with a queasy stomach, and then sit relaxed with no additional muscular challenges taking whatever time is needed for complete evacuation and thorough wiping.

    So, I’d be inclined to keep my toilet, but also have a folding squatting platform at hand. That way you could determine your own preference from personal experience, or even decide to use one or the other depending on your present physical state, etc.