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Pooping, taking a dump, or simply excreting bodily waste is a natural part of life. It is a way of ensuring digestive health, which is important to the rest of the body. (1)
Regular bowel movements are a key indicator of good health. Having at least one bowel movement every day is a must! Some people do up to three poop runs a day, which is also considered normal and healthy. (2)
Even having a little discomfort while taking a dump is considered normal; however, constant and uncontrollable pain, loose consistency of the stool, or waiting for long durations between bowel movements may be a call for concern. (3)
Talking about how to poop may seem weird. You have been doing it every single day, so you think you know how to do it. But you might be surprised that you may have been doing it all wrong your whole life.
Is there really a way to smoothen the process of pooping? Can the right pooping positions make all the difference?
This article will share how you can make pooping extremely comfortable with the least amount of friction and pain.
The Right Way to Poop
Although the elimination of bodily waste is a basic function for the living, everyone in the developed or westernized world still does it wrong. Scientists have shared how posture or position while using the restroom has a huge impact on health. (4)
People have realized, over time, that there are indeed some ideal positions to poop in, the most popular one being squatting.
Before the modern toilet seats, squatting was everyone’s go-to poop position. It was extremely common as it promoted healthy bowel movements and efficient emptying of the bowels. (5) In fact, people who understand its benefits still have squat types of toilets in their homes.
Feces are held in the body between the rectum and anus in a bend-like space. This bend is right angled to ensure the feces stays inside this space and does not slip out.
However, when a person squats, this bend straightens a bit, making it easier for the feces to be defecated. (6) This means that when a person squats down in the restroom, bowel movements will be much easier.
Several studies have shown that the squatting position causes less strain and requires less time for a satisfactory bowel movement compared to the sitting-down position. (7) Due to less strain, it helps prevent major issues such as hemorrhoids. (8)
If you live in a place where only sitting toilets are available, you can carefully squat by perching on top of the toilet seat. There are also assistive devices that allow you to squat properly to have a strainless bowel movement.
Advantages of squatting to poop
Here are the benefits of squatting during a bowel movement. (9)
- It promotes faster evacuation of feces from bowels.
- It prevents fecal impaction that gets stuck in your rectum.
- It prevents the stretching of the pelvic nerves.
- It prevents unnecessary straining.
- It helps resolve hemorrhoid symptoms.
Other Pooping Positions
Aside from the healthy squat pose, other positions are incredibly famous due to their “modern” appeal. These include:
- Sitting with hip flexion
In the so-called civilized world where modernization has taken over, sitting has become the go-to pooping position. Especially in the western world, sitting on a toilet bowl to defecate is a part of everyone’s routine.
This type of restroom and toilet structure came into existence after indoor plumbing became famous and common. Although it seems very convenient and comfortable to sit and poop while reading a good book, it is in fact harmful to digestive health. (9)
Imagine your bowel to be a long hollow canal. If the canal gets bent or is compressed in places, it will hinder the movement of substances through it. The same happens with the rectal canal. A straight path makes the most direct and efficient way for feces to exit the body. This straightened canal is successfully reached by squatting and, to some extent, by hip flexion. (6)
Researchers have linked issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and constipation, which are very common around the world, to the sitting position when pooping. This is because sitting does not straighten out the rectal canal for a smooth and satisfactory emptying of the bowels. (12)
2. Sitting with hips flexion
Another way to improve your bowel movements is by sitting with your hips flexed. This relaxes your rectal muscles and straightens the canal a bit, which reduces strain while pooping. It’s not the best position, but definitely better than just sitting. (12)
Lifestyle Changes to Improve Pooping Problems
Start with practicing the right pooping position, after which you can follow these other steps:
- Eat a fiber-rich diet to facilitate an efficient pooping experience. Consume at least 30 g of fiber every day for good digestive health. (13)
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is essential in ensuring smooth bowel movements and preventing constipation. (14)
- Regular exercise also promotes good blood flow to the abdomen, which is necessary for a healthy bowel movement. (15)
- Try to lead a stress-free life as stress impacts your overall metabolism.
- Do not hold in your poop. Go to the washroom as soon as you feel the urge; otherwise, moving your bowels can be painful later on.
What is a potty stool?
A potty stool is specially designed to lift your legs at the angle of elevation required for a good bowel movement when you use the toilet. It helps to put the body in an ideal position for pooping.
How do I know my pooping isn’t healthy?
An unhealthy digestive system or bowel movements are characterized by the following: (16)
- Dark-colored stool
- Pain while passing stool
- Very hard stools that are difficult to pass
- Less than three bowel movements in a week
Healthy and smooth bowel movements promote digestive health and overall wellness. Since pooping is something you do every day, it is extremely important to know the right way to do it.
The squatting position has been, since time unknown, the best way to poop. If you’re experiencing excessive pain during pooping or chronic constipation, visit a doctor immediately.