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There are many highly touted health benefits associated with Japanese-style toilets. But who would want to get down to business with a glorified hole in the ground when they have the option of a wonderful Washlet, complete with heated seats and a butt-cleaning water spray?!

Thanks to a new American company that cares a lot about colons, there’s no need to choose the health benefits of one over the comfort and familiarity of the other. This very special team has created a stool to ease the release of your stool and give you perfect poo from atop your porcelain throne. They call their product the Squatty Potty.

Multiple scientific studies have shown that the number one way to do the number two is not having a sit, but rather popping a squat. In fact, doing your doody in the sitting position can lead to one of many major health issues such as constipation, hemorrhoids, urinary tract infections, pelvic floor disorders, and even colon cancer! The reason is all to do with the shape of your large intestine.

Everyone’s colon is kinked right at the end to help hold back the fecal flow, like a kink in a garden hose. When we sit, the muscle that maintains the bend in our bowels loosens, but not entirely. The way to create an unhindered exit tube is squatting, thus relaxing the puborectalis muscle and opening up the anorectal angle. In case you’re not familiar with the parts that make up your posterior, here’s a helpful diagram.

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Basically, if you often find yourself straining atop the toilet, this is because you’ve got a natural pressure valve choking off your rectum. Pushing past it takes a lot of extra effort and causes some wear and tear in your derriere. Even more disgusting, that bend in the tubes can make it hard to eliminate everything, leading to a build-up of old waste within the body. This, of course, can lead to a whole slew of health hazards.

But, if you relieve your rectum in a knee-hugging squat, there’s nothing to stop the necessary expulsion of poo. Squatting is the body’s most natural position for excretion for its effect of straightening out your colon. In that way, it’s good that Japan has yet to do away with their squat toilets, though there’s an obvious movement toward the western style in the majority of new and renovated restrooms.

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Thankfully, an American company called Squatty Potty has developed a way for people to keep their Western plumbing and still assume a suitable squatting position. It’s a stool specially designed to put your knees above your pelvis while you’re perched atop the toilet. The angle mimics that of a self-supported squatting position, allowing you the health benefits of a natural squat with the modern comforts we’ve grown accustomed to. And, because it’s designed specifically for the bathroom, it stores neatly and discreetly under the toilet bowl, saving space while staying easily accessible.

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The Squatty Potty ships internationally, so try setting yourself up with a good Japanese-squat no matter where you live, and feel a special sort of satisfaction as you flush the results.

Reference: Squatty Potty

▼ See the Squatty Potty’s informational video on the body’s natural disposition towards squatty defecation here or on their YouTube channel.