Squatty Potty Review: Healthy Colon, Happy Life

squatty potty review

There’s no doubt that Western Civilization has something of a special relationship with the modern toilet.  What should be a simple receptacle for elimination has been idolized with nicknames such as, “The King’s Throne” or the “Porcelain God.”

But what if our fascination with the ability to neatly whisk away our bathroom business has led us down a medically hazardous track?  In fact, that’s exactly what the folks at Squatty Potty believe has happened…

To understand why sitting – rather than squatting – can have a negative impact on the health of our digestive systems; consider the structure of the large intestine.  Waste products are stored in this area – also referred to as the “colon” – before being released into the rectum.  This transition is controlled by the puborectalis muscle, which wraps around the lower segment of the colon, holding waste in and granting adults the privilege of controlling where and when defecation occurs.

For nearly all of human history, our ancestors squat to relieve themselves and – in doing so – caused the puborectalis muscle to relax fully, leading to complete elimination of the feces.  Sitting on the relatively new convenience of modern toilets limits the movement of this critical muscle, preventing it from releasing fully and causing difficulties when it comes to full defecation.

If you think about the biological imperative of eliminating waste in order to allow internal organs to function optimally, it’s no surprise that inhibiting defecation can lead to negative health effects.  What is surprising, though, is that many of these common issues are frequently attributed to dietary insufficiencies – when the real underlying issue is much simpler.

The hallmarks of incomplete elimination resulting from a modern seated position include:squatty potty toilet

  • Constipation
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Colon Disease
  • Urinary Difficulties/Infections
  • Pelvic Floor Issues

Really, if you’ve ever been told that a lack of fiber in your diet is the culprit behind your digestive issues, you could be putting a band-aid over a much larger issue!

Interestingly enough, research exists that backs up the notion that seated bathroom postures aren’t compatible with human health.  Take, for example, a study conducted by ten noted Japanese scientists from top research institutions, titled, “Influence of Body Position on Defecation in Humans.”  After testing a small group of subjects in a variety of elimination stances, the group concluded:

“The results of the present study suggest that the greater the hip flexion achieved by squatting, the straighter the rectoanal canal will be, and accordingly, less strain will be required for defecation.”

It’s both proven science and common sense – the human body is able to eliminate waste products most efficiently from a squatted position, compared to the modern seated alternative.

Of course, knowing this is only half the battle.  After all, it’s not like you can walk around modern society simply squatting at your leisure, the way our caveman ancestors did (at least, you can’t do so without getting a ticket!).  Instead, if you’re concerned about your digestive health, you’ll want to take a look at any of the different adaptive devices that exist to mimic the ideal squatting position on contemporary toilets.

A number of such solutions exist – including everything from blocks that support the feet to complete platforms built around the toilet – but one alternative in particular that you’ll want to look into is the Squatty Potty.bamboo squatty potty

The Squatty Potty is a simple foot stool that sits around the base of your toilet and elevates the feet and knees to form an ideal 35 degree angle with the body during elimination.  It comes in three stylish options and a range of different heights to accommodate different toilet styles and the size and flexibility of its users (currently, the Squatty Potty supports weights of up to 300-350 pounds).

Overall, the Squatty Potty is a great place to start if experimenting with different bathroom postures plays a role in your Paleo journey, as it’s extremely affordable (starting at just $19.95 for the base model), durable and stores neatly under your toilet.  Even if you ultimately decide to invest in a more advanced squatting system (say, the larger “Nature’s Platform” system, which retails for $150), the Squatty Potty will give you a way to try out this technique in a safe and healthy manner.

Give it a shot – your digestive system will thank you!

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9 Comments

  • avatar

    I’ve been squatting for a month now. Personally I find no problem just squatting on the toilet seat. No problems and free!

  • avatar

    I haven’t bought this, nor have I tried just squatting on the seat. I’m pretty short so any sort of step helps me. I do, though, have a meditation bench that’s about the same size. I bring it with me into the bathroom, and I tried my own little experiment to see if it would produce the same results as the Squatty Potty. So far, this is amazing. It has really changed me! I totally recommend this method to anyone that has had issues previously, like me, when using the toilet.

  • avatar

    Never heard of the squatty potty but it really makes sense.
    Im waiting for someone to redesign the loo…its totally the wrong design in so many different ways.
    I squat to pee, resting on my knees. Fully empties the bladder, less UTIs

  • avatar

    Lol. First thing in my mind was losing balance mid-shit.

    • avatar

      hahaha, that’s true! I’ve actually been doing this since I started going on my own (2/3 years old) and that time our toilet was flat, the first time we move and i had to get used to the new ones i lost balance a few times lmfu.
      it’s funny how everyone’s talking about shit like it’s so life changing lmfu

  • avatar

    that’s funny you mienton Free Range Kids, b/c that’s exlacty the site I thought of when I read yr first post and then read through the comments. I wish parents had more forgiveness for each other more willingness to make a neighborhood, community, CONNECTIONS with each other. what lessons are we teaching our kids about fear, independence, and conflict resolution?!?! Just a thought, COP CALLER LADY. I’m so sorry you had to go through that.

  • avatar

    I use the trash bin at home and most people have similar small bins in their bathrooms. . .

  • avatar

    I say it’s about time. As a short woman I have been left dangling for so many years. Finally I started using a plastic tool box as a foot rest. My comfort level is great and I keep one toolbox in the car for use at other toilets. I can tuck wet wipes etc inside and have a true toiletry kit.

  • avatar

    Any suggestions for the elderly who don’t have the leg strength or flexibility? My Mom is about to buy a higher throne. Maybe that position is more squatty than sitting. Definitely easier to rise from.

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