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Squatty Potty Review

We’re often reminded that good posture is important when we walk, sit, and stand, but have you ever given much thought to proper toilet posture? It may not be the most appealing subject matter, but I do think it’s an important health topic that should be more commonly discussed!

(Don’t worry, I’ll keep the TMI to a minimum.)

squatty potty

If you think about it, it makes sense that squatting is the natural position for humans to eliminate waste. It’s what we have to do when we’re in nature, after all! (i.e. camping) If you’ve ever traveled to other countries, you may have even encountered more primitive-looking toilets designed for just this purpose.

5 Problems with Sitting on Your Toilet

#1: Constipation
Let’s face it: most of us don’t get the fiber we need in our diets. It’s true. And we fail to get all the water we need as well. These two things along with improper toilet posture which doesn’t allow us to eliminate completely is a bad combination that creates hard dry stools. These hard dry stools are very hard to push out. It’s called constipation, and we’ve all experienced it. Unfortunately, it’s the norm for altogether too many of us. But that’s just the beginning…

#2: Hemorrhoids
Getting those hard stools out calls for lots of pushing. And that pressure causes hemorrhoids, which can be very painful. Hemorrhoids are inflamed anal varicose veins that have swollen because of our need to push excessively to get those hard stools to pass. And as bad as hemorrhoids are, they aren’t the worst of our potential problems.

#3: Colon Disease
Eliminating completely and often helps maintain good colon health. Many studies point to fecal buildup in the colon as a cause of diseases including colon cancer. And when there is buildup in the colon, our bodies can’t absorb all the nutrients from the food we eat, leaving us without the energy we could enjoy if our colons were healthy.

#4: Urinary Difficulty/Infections
Urinary flow is usually stronger and easier when women squat to urinate. The bladder is emptied more completely when squatting rather than sitting or “hovering”. Squatting can help reduce episodes of urinary tract infections in both frequency and intensity. Now, that is good news!

#5: Pelvic Floor Issues
One of the main causes of this condition is straining on the toilet. The “sitting” position causes a great amount of pressure on the anorectal Angle of the colon causing the lower part of the colon to drop and protrude into the wall of the vagina. Pelvic floor nerves can be protected by squatting for bowel elimination. Men can also suffer from pelvic floor disorders and can readily benefit from using the Squatty Potty as a part of their everyday routine.

[source]

While I’m not suggesting that we all start abandoning our modern toilets, there is a simple solution: Use a stool to prop your feet up! Below, you’ll see how propping your feet up can affect your internal workings.

anorectal angle[source]

According to this website:

“People can control when they defecate, to some extent, by contracting or releasing the anal sphincter. But that muscle can’t maintain continence on its own. The body also relies on a bend in the rectum (where feces is stored), and the anus (where feces comes out). When we’re standing or sitting the bend, called the anorectal angle, is kinked which puts upward pressure on the rectum and keeps the feces inside. The sitting posture actually keeps us in ‘continence mode’. This makes elimination difficult and incomplete, creating the need to STRAIN.

Optimal elimination is achieved in the natural squat position when the puborectalis muscle relaxes, allowing the anorectal angle to straighten, resulting in easier defecation.”

In other words, squatting may help relieve constipation, end hemorrhoids, and improve overall colon health.

For the past few years, I’ve simply used an empty trash can, tipped upside down, to act as a “stool” in our restroom at home. While it’s probably better than using nothing, it’s definitely not the most ideal option since the height and width aren’t necessarily best for my body’s natural alignment.

That’s why I’m so happy I discovered the Squatty Potty!

squatty potty

At first I was skeptical of having something like this stored in my bathroom (and the awkward conversations it might start), but this little stool is perfectly designed to set your body in proper alignment while using the toilet–> then it scoots under the seat and stays completely out of the way!

The stool can be angled up or down, to accommodate the flexibility of your ankles, and is wide enough that your feet can rest comfortably for an overall relaxed squatting position. I am using the 7″ model, which fits under most standard toilet seats and is perfect for beginners, but if you find yourself with higher toilet seats, they also have a 9″ model available.

The Squatty Potty company was kind enough to send me the bamboo model pictured above, and after trying it for the very first time, I noticed a difference right away. In fact, my husband and I are enjoying it so much that I think we may buy more for the other toilets in our home! (They have a more affordable model available, if you want to try it out first.)

I am especially excited to be using this stool during my pregnancy, as it’s thought to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which can be weakened with childbirth. Squatting is also supposed to make laboring more effective, so I look forward to seeing if it helps with that, as well!

Reader Feedback: Have you ever heard of using a stool for the toilet? Do you think it’s worth a shot?

Disclosure: Squatty Potty sent me a complimentary stool, but I am under no obligation to mention their company or post a positive review. As always, I will only mention products and brands that I love and would choose to use in my own home.

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Comments

Johanna

This really makes sense to me. Ok, it’s a bit weird to talk about, but a different position makes a difference. I’m a die hard backpacker, so during my holidays I don’t eat a lot of viber, at least not from fresh food ànd I don’t see a lot of regular toilets ;). Yet, I’m never constipated when backpacking.
Never heard of a squatty potty though, time to check it out 🙂

Anne

Interesting, I’ll check it out. I’ve read before about how squatting is the optimal position.

I must say, “complimentary stool” made me crack up.

Hope

My mom always told me to “put my feet up” so I would be in a squatting position and now here’s the research behind it! Fascinating…I guess my mom was right 🙂

Cing

One of the best articles I’ve read on the subject!

Ashleigh

OMg. jealous.

Chef Amber Shea

I JUST bought a couple of these for me and Matt – they arrived last week. It took some work to convince him, but I think he’s sold now 😉 I got the cheap plastic models (9-inch height) and they’re great! The bamboo one is much more attractive, though 😛

Faith

Using a stool really works. What also works in a pinch is to bend over when you’re conducting your business.

Cait

Our bathroom is so tiny that right now I can put my feet up on the bathtub! I am thinking when potty training commences for my toddler that it would be the perfect time to get one of these – ‘she can’t reach on her own!’

GutterBallet

So glad to see someone else posting about this! Many of us with IBD have learned the health benefits of squatting in order to “empty out” easier – but it really is something that’s not just good for those with IBD, its good for EVERYONE!

Penny

This was really interesting, thank you!

Sarah

We ordered one of these a few months ago and both love it! It really does make a difference!

Natasha

Got one of these a few months ago, and told everyone in our lives about how AMAZING it is! So glad to see you review it!

Sjar

Here is TMI! I had the first hemmorhoid of my life and was fairly miserable for a couple of months. Tried everything from the usual OTC products to apple cider vinegar, etc. Finally found this off of a natural remedies website and ordered. Within 2 weeks, my problem was vastly improved. If I travel and am away from it for too long, I can really tell a difference. I highly recommend this for anyone with any type of bowel movement issue.

Lorna

I use a stool and highly recommend it. Mine is white metal, which blends with the commode.

Mandy

In addition to its original purpose, could this be used for children to more easily access the potty? Is it sturdy enough for a 2 year old to climb on and use?

    Megan

    I’m not sure if it’s intended for that use, but I hope that it will help our future toddler when we get to that point! My bamboo version does feel very sturdy, but I’d probably still supervise a child while using it, just to be on the safe side.

Kathryn

I first heard of and saw a squatty potty when I traveled to S. Korea a couple years ago. it makes perfect sense and this is much easier to use than the Korean squatty potty.:-)

Sarah

My boyfriend just surprised me with a Squatty Potty a few days ago! He’s heard me talk about it before, but I hadn’t ever gone so far as to order one. Isn’t he romantic?!?

    Megan

    What a fantastic boyfriend! 😉

Lisa

I loved this post! I have two boys aged 8 and 10 and they must instinctively still “get” this….my 10 year old freaked out when we removed the step stool from the bathroom as apparently he uses it for this exact purpose. Better yet….my 8 year old (who suffers from constipation) consistently squats with his feet on the toilet seat itself and he squats over the bowl! Although I do think that at some point he will be too big to keep that up!!

Sara

We have a squatty potty and love it! We can definitely tell the difference when we don’t use it!

Laura

We have one in every bathroom! Of course, my daughter hides hers as she is embarrassed by it (of course she can’t hide the blue bidet that is connected to the toilet itself so……) I like them and it has helped my husband with his hemorrhoids. Sorry if that is TMI!!!!

K

Yet another TMI story for today’s comments: My husband walked in on me this morning while I was using the toilet, thinking that I was merely getting ready for work. We have a little round top trashcan next to the toilet that is the perfect height for me to use to prop my feet on, which is what I was doing. He gave me a serious “my wife is a crazy lady look” and walked out. 😛 I have always done this, he had just never witnessed it! Before we bought our house the bathroom in our little loft apartment was so small I would pull out the vanity drawer to prop my feet on!:p This is one of those genius convenience products, going to order one now!

Lori

Dr. Oz talks has talked about the importance of the angle. Maybe one of these would help me too!

Candace

Fascinating! I am so excited to see if this will relieve some of the unpleasant “issues” that accompany candida! Thanks so much for sharing, here’s hoping they ship to Canada!

Kezia

Brilliant I was just added one to my wish list but wondered if all my friends would think I had literally gone ‘potty’ with the whole health thing – plus the bamboo one is lovely. Is it ok will your expanding belly and balance?

    Megan

    It’s actually amazing for pregnancy! It’s way more comfortable to sit this way with an expanding belly. 🙂

Baylee

I love this! My fiance is always talking about getting one of these, we just didn’t know where! I read your above comment that it’s good for pregnancy too! I am due next month and have wondered if having your feet up like that would get in the way or make it easier. Thanks for the article!

Susan

I’ve known for a very long time that squatting is the best way to empty your bladder completely, but I was not aware that it was also better for the bowels. I’ve been so many places lately, even private homes, that have only ‘handicap’ height toilets, and it drives me crazy, because I know that I’ll need to be in the bathroom sooner than should be necessary, thanks to those high toilets. I have pretty long legs, but on those my feet barely reach the floor! When visiting my husband’s children and grandsons, I’ve appreciated them getting potty trained because they need a stool to stand on and I’m happy to take advantage of it. I think I’ll have to invest in one, too. Thanks for posting this important information.

SC Tewari

can i get it in India,if yes,then where? I am Residing at Kanpur,UP, India.

heather

I just saw an advertisement for this on another site today, first I heard about it! People on IBS forums talk about using buckets, stools etc for this purpose. My life is basically controlled by horrible mysterious and not so mysterious bowel pain, but when ever I go squat in the bushes, I am mostly pain free! I live in the country, so often use ‘nature’s washroom’ for emptying the bladder, not as much as would be beneficial for the bowels, but it is far more natural. I wish squat toilets were available in the west(are they?). I guess any stool would work, but I feet platform is vital for correct form.

Faith

This is fascinating!
Many people back home and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) do this, and advised us to squat. The wisdom behind so many of his advises.

But the hilarious thing:
When I went to Saudi Arabia for Hajj, the bathrooms were all holes in the ground for squatting. Me being born here in the States flat out refused to use it, so they took me to a handicap bathroom. Mind you, their handicap bathrooms are our regular toilets. Hilarious!

Kattam

Hi, where can we buy this in Canada ? Montreal ?
Thks

Mary

I am a women’s health and continence physiotherapist and I can not recommend the importance of good posture and not straining on the toilet enough. Often I see women who have never had children but have considerable pelvic floor muscle dysfunction secondary to chronic constipation and straining on the toilet. This in turn can lead to incontinence, sexual dysfunction and prolapse of pelvic organs!

Thanks for highlighting this pertinent issue. Your blog is such a great and inspirational resource!

JOE

I am suffering low back problems for 3 years slip disk L4 L5 ,AFTER USING SQUATTY POTTY for a week my low back pain getting worse WHY ?? should I stop using it.

    Joe

    Same here. I had NO BACK pain then after only using this scam item for a day my lower back hurt and my right butt muscle and back of leg hurt( like a pinched nerve).

    Joe

    I also noticeed all the positive reviews for Squatty Potty are from “reviewers’ who GOT IT FOR FREE from the manufacturer. What a surprise!

      Anna

      I bought it at the end of November 2016. I used it for 3 month and then I realized that every time I got off the toilet my butt muscles were hurting.
      It took me another month to put 2 and 2 together. My periformis muscle became inflamed. I quit using it, went to a chiropractor, going for massage on a regular basis, but the pain is still there as of today, June 20, 2018. I have pain in the lower back of butt intermittently, especially in the montings and I have to do a “pigeon” yoga stretch every time I leave the bathroom, so I can walk, otherwise I cannot straighten out.

Mija

i have a ? I am 5’4″ and my husband is 6’4″. Would we use the same size stool?

Katthleen

I got one yesterday and tried it out, woke up in night and can not sit on toilet. Have shooting pain sort of like a electical charge on butt and down back of leg. Today have it when sitting on anything… Hope it calms down soon.

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