Most Americans are so used to sitting on the toilet that they cannot even imagine there is another, much healthier way of relieving yourself. Standard toilets you can sit on are installed in every American home. However, there is another type of toilets that can change the way you poop. Squat toilets.
Many people think that Asian style toilets are unhygienic and gross. This is especially true for American tourists who go on a trip to one of the Eastern countries and find out there are no tank-and-bowl toilets they are used to. Sometimes, public toilets in developing countries are unsanitary due to the lack of cleaning. However, that does not mean that squat toilets are unhygienic.
On the contrary, squat toilets are much more hygienic than sitting toilets. You do not have to sit on them, meaning your butt and other delicate parts will not be exposed to viruses and bacteria that have possibly been left by the previous user.
Squat toilets have other advantages. Look through our article to find out more about these traditional toilets and their health benefits, and get the best squat toilet on the market.
What Is a Squat Toilet?
Squat toilets are designed in such a way that you must squat in order to defecate. That can be guessed from their name. Also called Indian or Turkish toilets, they are traditional in many Eastern countries, such as Japan, Thailand, India, China, both Koreas, and some others. They are also common in some African countries, especially in rural areas.
Squatting toilet pans are installed on the floor of the bathroom. They can come with a tank and a flushing system. Alternatively, you can flush manually by pouring water into the pan. Just like porcelain thrones, squat toilets can be made from a variety of materials including ceramics, stainless steel, and fiberglass. In poor countries public toilets are often made of concrete and wood.
Why Squatting is Better than Sitting?
Squatting toilets have been in common use since ancient times. Even when there were no toilets at all, people used to squat when they felt an urge to defecate. Modern toilets have been invented comparatively recently, in the 16th century. Prior to that, people pooped squatting and no other way. And there is a good reason for that.
Toilets as we know them today have been invented for royalty. Kings and queens felt more dignified defecating sitting, not squatting. This allowed them to feel as if sitting on the throne during pooping. Presumably, that is how toilets got their name “porcelain thrones”. In this case, royal members got the worst, not the best.
However, that is not the only such case. The birth position, which is used to deliver babies in most hospitals all throughout the world – woman lying on her back with legs raised – and which is considered the least physiological of all possible labor positions, have also been introduced for royalty. It was first used in France. When the queen was about to give birth, she was placed on a bed in front of all the court nobility so that everyone could witness the birth of the successor to the throne. While this position gives everyone the opportunity to see in detail what is going on, it is uncomfortable and possibly dangerous both for mothers and for babies. Lying on the back works against gravity, causes painful contractions, decreases the blood flow between the mother and the baby, and may cause serious health complications. Before this position became common, women used to give birth (guess how?) squatting. That made labors quick and painless so that women needed no anesthesia or other medical help. If you are interested in natural birth, check out this article on the Babycenter wedsite.
Modern toilets can cause different health issues and bowel problems such as hemorrhoids, appendicitis, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and others. When we sit on the toilet, our rectum gets choked by the muscle called puborectalis. As a result, feces cannot get through the anal canal and we start straining and pushing, making it all even worse.
When we squat, the puborectalis is relaxed and does not hinder the process of defecation. The rectum straightens and the feces get out naturally thanks to bowel movements and the force of gravity, without any conscious effort on your part. The Nature’s Platform has more information on health benefits of the natural squatting position, if you are interested.
The Advantages of Squat Toilets
- They make you squat daily, bringing some exercise into your life. This means Indian-style toilets make us fit. Besides, such squats improve blood circulation and can increase life expectancy.
- They help normalize digestion and ease the symptoms of multiple health conditions. When squatting, our legs are pressed to the belly, giving it a gentle massage and aiding solid wastes in leaving the body. The main health concern when we speak about squat toilets is colorectal cancer. Squatting position can prevent this mortal disease.
- They are eco-friendly. With a squat toilet, you can wash your lower body parts after using it. This will make toilet paper unnecessary to you, meaning you can contribute to saving the planet from deforestation.
- They are great for women’s health. When women squat, there is no pressure on the uterus, which, in its turn helps prevent multiple gynecological problems. This is especially important for pregnant women as pressure on the uterus can cause hypertonus and even miscarriage. Apart from that, regular squats help tone muscles of the pelvic floor, preparing women for milder and less painful labor.
The Best Squat Toilet on the Market
Squatting Pan from HANSBO
This squatting pan can be installed in any bathroom. Its immaculate white finish and classic design will look appropriate in any setup. This built-in platform is a great option for small bathrooms, as it does not need much space for installation. Made of high-quality ceramics, it has a sturdy and durable construction.
Thanks to the choice of material, this squatting pan from HANSBO is easy to clean and maintain. The design of the pan includes a deep bowl with a drain and an outside panel where you can place your feet. The outside panel has a textured surface to prevent slipping and offer the utmost safety for users.
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An Alternative to Squat Toilets
If you want to make your lifestyle healthier by introducing the squatting position to you defecating process yet do not want to install a squat toilet and face all that remodeling. You can improve your existing toilet by adding a toilet stool to it. The original bathroom toilet stool from Squatty Potty is the best option. It allows you to take up a squatting position when sitting on a porcelain throne. It comes in several finish colors, which makes it a stylish addition to any bathroom décor. The finish colors include white, black, teak, bamboo, and clear.
The Squatty Potty comes in two sizes, with the height of seven and nine inches. The nine-inch version offers a deeper and more physiological squat, yet the seven-inch model is perfect for those who find squatting on the toilet unusual. The lower stool will help you get used to this position. Made of safe polyurethane, the Squatty Potty is durable and easy to clean. It is also available in a portable edition. It folds up easily and takes up little space so that you can take it with you wherever you go.