To sit or squat — that is the question. If you’ve ever given more than a fleeting thought to what the body goes through when you have a bowel movement, you’ve likely heard that squatting during the act is more of a natural position, or that it aids the process.
As it turns out, it’s totally up to you whether you squat or sit because science hasn’t devoted enough research to determining the best position for pooping.
According to an informative SciShow video on the biological breakdown of defecation, small scientific studies have acknowledged that there are certain advantages to squatting. For example, it places your rectum and anal canal in direct alignment and reduces straining that can contribute to hemorrhoids. This may explain why squatting was the preferred method for thousands of years (and still is for some) before a group of fancy humans came along with the invention of sitting toilets.
But there’s good news for those who don’t buy into this “squatting is the new sitting” mantra: There’s really no widespread scientific proof that squatting is better. The video cites two small studies that only included 20 and six volunteers, respectively, which makes us wonder why more studies aren’t being done about the best position in which to poop. Researchers are busy paying people to poop, so there’s obviously some scientific interest in the topic.
In the end, the best position in which to poop is a personal choice. Basically, if you already have regular bowel movements, there’s no reason to switch up your style.
All good to know!