In addition, sitting causes the rectum to be constricted by the puborectalis muscle. This muscle is extremely important in your day to day activity, as it allows you to have control over when you release your bowels, but it can be a hindrance when it comes time to use the bathroom. Squatting helps the puborectalis muscle to relax, again reducing the amount of strain required for evacuation. In turn, less strain leads to fewer bowel and digestive problems.
Is It For Everyone?
Squat toilets can certainly be a blessing for those who experience discomfort while using a traditional Western toilet, or who have issues with constipation, hemorrhoids, or various aspects of the digestive process. In fact, many Western doctors recommend that such patients raise their feet on a stack of books or a stepstool when using a sit toilet in order to approximate squatting.
However, Westerners who have no bathroom-related issues that aren’t quite comfortable exploring the world of the squat toilet needn’t change their ways just yet. Dr. Rebekah Kim, a colorectal surgeon recently interviewed by NPR, contends that sitting on a toilet is just fine for most people, and there’s no clinical evidence suggesting that sit toilets alone cause constipation and hemorrhoids. But, if you’re one of many people who would like a more comfortable and speedy elimination process, squat toilets may be the answer.