Health benefits of squat toilets:In praise of squatting
Not only the squatting system of toilets provides better sanitary requirements, there are health benefits of the squatting positions of defecation or toileting.
An elegant study was performed by Sikirov (2003) published in the prestigious "Digestive diseases and sciences" journal to identify the best defecation process by comparing the straining forces and the particular feeling of the strength of the defecation effort during normal bowel function in various toilet systems. Of the sitting positions used; the western style at a raised height, at a lower position and the squatting or Indian styled toilet systems. Subjects were asked to time their defecation process and note their time needed for the sensation of defecation till the time of satisfactory bowel emptying and the effort of intensity of defecation on the 3 different positions. The study revealed that the sitting defecation posture requires more effort compared to the squatting posture.
The principal cause of constipation is the result of the awkward nature of the angle of rectum (bottom) when defecating in the sitting posture normally used in western method of defecation. The only or the best normal defecation position is squatting posture allowing smooth bowel removal.
Another study showed that the "chronic traumatic hiatal hernia" also known as the "gastroesophageal reflux disease" is the direct cause of not using the common and worldwide practice of squatting.
Furthermore, the "diverticular disease of the colon" is a common feature in several western countries due to the unnecessary injury caused at defecation process due to customary clearing of the bowel in a sitting posture commonly used in the western world.
Humans have evolved into a species following 1.5 million years of standing erect and using the squatting position for toileting therefore "squatting" is the most natural way to go.
Dig Dis Sci. 2003 48: 1201-5
Yale J Biol Med. 1999 72: 69-80
Med Hypotheses. 1989 28: 71-3
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