The western pedestal toilet was designed to fix a sewage and plumbing issue to minimise disease in England in 1850.

Before then squatting over a bucket, chamber pot or an outhouse was normal for most people; only the royal family, the sick or the very wealthy sat on a chair with a chamber pot underneath.

Many of the human population today still squat to go.

The western loo may have fixed the sewage problem of the 19th century but since then it has not helped us with our inner plumbing.

Have you ever thought of changing the angle on how your family goes to the loo?

The human body was designed to squat when going to the loo. It makes sense; over half the world’s population still does it that way.

There is also growing awareness that we in western countries should be squatting to go too.

Research has shown that going to the loo with your knees up, higher than your hips, will benefit your whole family in so many ways.

Statistics compiled by the World Health Organisation have shown that people in countries who squat have less colon cancer and other related digestive issues than those in western developed nations.

In the squatting position you are allowing all your pelvic floor muscles to relax in their correct way.

When sitting on a pedestal loo, you are not allowing your puborectalis muscle, a muscle in the pelvic floor, to relax, so kinking the colon passage.

This makes it harder to pass the stool at the end of the movement and you have to strain to finish. Long term straining is not good; it makes the pelvic muscles weak and so in the long term can cause leakage and incontinence.

A child or shorter person can have difficulties with getting their knees higher than their hips when on the western loo and kid’s feet don’t even touch the floor!

So we were trained to sit on a western loo and in turn we train our kids to sit on the western loo, inadvertently setting up what we all think is normal. When really squatting is normal and sitting is restricting our natural easy functions.

So what can I do, you ask?

The Australian Department of Health and Ageing suggest we use a footstool or phone books to get the knees higher than the hips in their 2012 Guide to Improving Bowel function.

Wow, who uses phone books anymore!

So even the Aussie Government know we should be doing it with our knees up even if they are a little out of touch.

But they are ahead of the game when it comes to preventative health.

And so should you!

A Footstool Huh! What a simple and low tech solution for the prevention of piles, incontinence and other diseases that can be caused by straining.

Using a correctly designed footstool as suggested by the Department of health is the easiest answer.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
Australian Department of Health and Ageing. (2012). Looking after your bowel: A guide to improving bowel function.
World Health Organization; Globocan 2012. Estimated cancer incidence, Mortality and prevalence worldwide in 2012.
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  • No thanks….I have issues with my knees so squatting is right out for me


  • I’ve heard this before, although, I squat when we go camping (no choice) and I don’t find much if a difference.


  • I put a stool in my toilet a few years back, and seriously it changed my life!


  • My partner has just had an operation to fix his haemorrhoids so we are on high alert regarding bowel health at the moment. I have a put a small stool in our toilet for this exact reason


  • I’m a firm believer in this. We have a footstool in all toilets.


  • I read of this a little while ago. Since then, I do elevate my knees to achieve a mild squat position. I just prop myself up on tippy toes though, I don’t have a box or stool. So maybe I’m not helping myself at all


  • That’s interesting! Thanks for sharing this!


  • I lived in Asia for a few years and didn’t like the squatters at all, nor did I find a difference in how my bowels worked between a squatter or a western toilet


  • This makes me question how I’ve toilet trained in the past.. A lesson learnt


  • I heard this a while ago and now have a little stool that sits next to my loo!


  • it s nice and good


  • I have a step at my toilet so I can get my knees up. Can’t say I’ve noticed too much of a difference


  • thanks for the good read


  • so exellent to read these so great


  • Very interesting who knew we were pooping wrong. And that a simple foot stool can making everything better. Maybe by the time this little one is potty trying we will be doing it right.


  • There is something quite special about having a squat, luckily we go camping a bit!


  • That’s interesting, I hadn’t really thought about how sitting on the toilet impacts health!


  • it s absolutly great to read these


  • This is intresting. It totally exlains why my 6 year old at times stains himself and complains that he is having issues going to the loo. I will have to suggest he sits differently on the loo and see if that helps his movments at all. Thanks for the info


  • This was an interesting read.


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