Here’s a fun fact: sitting on your toilet for too long in an incorrect position can cause your body to begin developing a hernia.
We know this because people are spending more time sitting on the toilet then at arguably any other time in history. Why are we so preoccupied with the time we spend in the bathroom right now?
Because we bring our smartphones and tablets along to do something while we are doing something!
In a 2018 survey which asked men and women about their technology habits in the bathroom, 34% of guys and 27% of ladies said that they bring their phone to the toilet “quite often.” 15% of guys said that they do it every time.
Young adults and teens are the worst offenders for this habit. Up to 96% of people who are under the age of 23 will not go to the bathroom unless they have a mobile device in their hands. The No. 1 reason why this age demographic developed this habit is because going to the bathroom without the device is not entertaining.
They feel like they are wasting their time. That contributes to a longer session of sitting and straining, which then leads to a higher risk of a potential health concern.
Having the correct toilet posture won’t solve this problem, but it could help to lower some of the risks involved with prolonged use.
What Is the Correct Posture to Use on the Toilet?
When you sit down on the toilet, there is an excellent chance that you are choking the anal canal that sits right beneath your rectum. Keeping your back upright might feel like the natural way to defecate, but it can actually cause the body to retain waste instead.
One of the most significant contributions to chronic constipation is sitting on the toilet with an incorrect posture. You can also cause your hemorrhoids to inflame if you sit upright and strain when it feels like you need to go.
You can correct this issue by leaning slightly forward while sitting on the toilet. You will want to have a small step-stool in front of you as well to help support your weight. This change in your posture causes you to “squat” more than sit in a chair.
Although this shift in posture is only slight, it is enough the relax the rectum so that it pushes the waste out of your body very effectively. You’ll also straighten the anal canal, making it easier for more of the particles to flow through faster. This process reduces the amount of time it requires to defecate.
What If I Don’t Have a Stool in the Bathroom?
If you don’t have a stepping stool at home and you don’t want to pay for one, then anything that will raise the level of your feet about halfway up the height of the toilet can prompt you to move into the squatting posture.
When you defecate in this position consistently, then it is easier to relieve issues with constipation that is caused by a low-fiber diet, medication, or even hormonal disorders. You’ll reduce the risk of developing hemorrhoids using this position as well. It can reduce the inflammation and itching associated with straining as well.
The squatting process can even help to prevent the development of urinary tract infections in some individuals. When you are sitting with your back upright on the toilet, then the flow of urine is not at the same velocity as it would be during a squat. That increases the chance of having some of the fluid fail to expel.
What If I Need to Use a Comfort Height Toilet?
If you struggle to sit down on the toilet because of mobility issues, then trying to raise your legs enough to create a squatting posture could be potentially dangerous. You would increase the risk of losing your balance while going to the bathroom, which could create a whole different set of medical issues to handle.
When your toilet height is 18 inches or taller, then a better solution is to lean forward a little without disrupting your center of balance. Then bring up your knees a little if you can to open the anal canal as much as possible. Although you might not achieve full straightness, this shift will stop you from choking down on this process.
Toilet posture can impact your health in more ways than you may realize. Make the shift to a squatting position to see if it can help the concerns you may have with your digestive tract.
For more information on comfort height toilets, check our guide for some great recommendations here.