Just kidding. Toilets aren’t really something you can remove from your house. But they are not very awesome for your body, unfortunately. Toilets can be a major contributor to problems like hemorrhoids, diverticulitis and pelvic floor disorders.
Your body is super well designed to hold your poop in when you’re standing around.
I think we can all be grateful for that.
We all have a pair of sphincters at the end of our digestive tract – an internal and an external. These work together to give us a fairly high degree of conscious control about when we eliminate waste.
But, there’s also a fail-safe – the puborectalis muscle.
This little guy circles the lower end of your gut. When you’re sitting or standing, it pulls the gut sideways, which creates a kink, making it harder for you to accidentally leak.
When you squat, the puborectalis relaxes and the colon straightens, allowing gravity to assist you in doing your business.
Like so many of nature’s elegant solutions, this worked beautifully until humans decided we had a better answer.
Although a thing of beauty, and sanitization, sitting on a toilet to do your business means that you have to use extra pressure to get rid of waste. It also slows things down (one study found that when squatting, going to the bathroom takes 50 seconds on average. When seated, it takes more than 2x as long – 130 seconds).
And of course, all that extra time and pressure affects more than just your poop. Pushing and straining is a big contributor to nasty and often embarrassing results for your poor pelvis.
Fortunately, there’s a simple answer that means you can keep your toilet with a clear conscience.
All you have to do to create more ease in the bathroom is raise your feet several inches off the floor and lean forward. You can do this with a Squatty Potty or a Lillipad, any kind of footstool, yoga blocks, some old phone books – whatever. Once you try it, the advantages are instantly obvious! And also, it’s another way to care for your pelvic floor (and nether regions) with no extra time required. Seems like a no-brainer to me. And a no-strainer as well 🙂
If you want even more tips for optimal pelvic floor health, I’m super excited to announce my first ever drop-in pelvic floor class. 7:15 Tuesday mornings at Boomerang Pilates. Just register by 9 pm the night before and start your day off right with an hour of pelvic health.