The Scoop on Poop

The Scoop On Poop:
Yep – you read that right.  Today we are diving into the fascinating world of poop.  Specifically, we are going to get up close and personal about HOW you poop.

Like it or not, everybody poops.  Some of us poop more than others.  Some of us are great poopers.  Some of us have some serious pooping woes.  Many of us are somewhere in the middle.  Bathroom habits are sort of a taboo topic of conversation.  And yet, we all poop!

So let’s put that elementary school bathroom humor aside for a minute and get down to the business of pooping positions.  Trust me, you need to keep reading because chances are you are going about the business of pooping all wrong.

Poop has the same basic exit strategy in most every living creature.

By exit strategy, I mean it comes out of a small hole in the middle of your bottom end.  We don’t have an option when it comes to elimination.  Food goes in, waste goes out, and the cycle continues. 

Most of us like to make this whole evacuation process much harder than it needs to be.  Have you ever stopped to consider WHY a dog or a cat squats to poop?  I’ll admit, unless I am keeping a vigilant eye on my dog to prevent any, er, “post-poop snacking,” I really don’t care to scrutinize his elimination behavior.

But guess what?  Dogs and cats and many other animals are really onto something with the whole squat and poop thing.  Think about it.  They squat, they poop, they move on.  There is not a lot of straining, very little time spent pooping, and certainly no need to settle in for a long, drawn out process.

When I went to Europe many years ago, I was appalled at the facilities available at rest stops and in many train depots.  The rest rooms were composed of these holes in the ground, some with handles on either side of the hole, others without.  At the time, there was no way on the planet that I was doing my business in some hole whilst squatting like a cavewoman.  No thank you.  Give me my hard white toilet seat and a magazine and leave me be.

I have since changed my tune.

A few years ago my mother-in-law was telling me how she would poop when she was growing up in Sri Lanka.  They would go to a little shed with a hole in the ground.  There were large stones on either side.  The depositor would place his or her feet on the stones which would elevate the legs and force the depositor into a squatting position.  Apparently, poop would fly on out in record time and with virtually no effort. 

I decided to give it a try.  NO – I did not set up some crazy nature contraption in my backyard.  Instead, I perched on the edge of my toilet like a bird and gave it a go.  Not exactly optimal but I did notice that the position made things a wee bit easier. Over the next few months I tried various props and positions but eventually gave up. 

I literally stumbled on a product that caught my attention.  The Squatty Potty is a very special stool designed to put you in the proper position to effectively poop. Now, before I get into the details of this great invention, let me give you a brief run down of WHY you should be squatting instead of sitting when you poop. It is time to review the mechanics of going to the bathroom.


People can control their defecation, to some extent, by contracting or releasing the anal sphincter. But that muscle can’t maintain continence on its own. The body also relies on a bend between the rectum (where poop builds up) and the anus (where poop comes out, in case you didn’t know). When we’re standing up, the extent of this bend, called the anorectal angle, is about 90 degrees, which puts upward pressure on the rectum and keeps feces inside. In a squatting posture, the bend straightens out, like a kink ringed out of a garden hose, and defecation becomes easier. Sitting on a conventional toilet produces an anorectal angle that’s ill-suited for defecation.

Here is a little list of why squatting is the preferred pooping position:

  • Makes elimination faster, easier and more complete. This helps prevent “fecal stagnation,” a prime factor in colon cancer, appendicitis and inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Protects the nerves that control the prostate, bladder and uterus from becoming stretched and damaged.
  • Securely seals the ileocecal valve, between the colon and the small intestine. In the conventional sitting position, this valve is unsupported and often leaks during evacuation, contaminating the small intestine.
  • Relaxes the puborectalis muscle which normally chokes the rectum in order to maintain continence.
  • Uses the thighs to support the colon and prevent straining.  Chronic straining on the toilet can cause hernias, diverticulosis, and pelvic organ prolapse.
  • A highly effective prevention for and non-invasive treatment of hemorrhoids, as shown by published clinical research.
  • For pregnant women, squatting avoids pressure on the uterus when using the toilet. Daily squatting helps prepare one for a more natural delivery.

Convinced that you should be squatting? Ok good.  Now let’s talk about that Squatty Potty!

The wonderful folks over at Squatty Potty were kind enough to send me one to test out.  I’ll spare you all the gory details here but be warned…I need to talk about MY poop.  I’m doing this for your benefit – just remember that!

After the holy grail of squatting contraptions arrived, I got it set up and waited. And waited. And waited.  I have ulcerative colitis and NOT pooping is typically not the issue.  Painful, frequent pooping is typically the issue.  Of all days to get a shy colon…

My patience paid off and eventually I had to poop.  I climbed aboard the Squatty Potty, got into the proper position and WHOOSH ZOOM! Sweet poop almighty!  This Squatty Potty sure made my poop happy.  Seriously.  I think I broke a record with how quickly I finished my business.  But the best part…pooping was not nearly as uncomfortable as it typically is.  Yes, I had my usual colitis cramping but the exit?  Pretty flawless.

Being a natural skeptic, I wasn’t going to base my review on a one-time event.  I used the Squatty Potty for two weeks as often as I could.  With the exception of one little glitch (my daughter grabbed the Squatty Potty out from under me and hauled it away) the position it allowed me to poop in worked wonderfully.  Seriously folks. I would not joke around about poop! Squatting is the way to go!

I am a convert.  You won’t catch me sitting to poop.  Nope.  I am all Squatty Potty, all the time. And you can be too!  Here’s how…

Head over to the Squatty Potty store and pick up your very own! Prices range from $29.95 to $79.95 depending on the model! 

Full disclosure, if you order through any link here, I will get a little something for your efforts. However, even if I didn’t get anything, I would still tell you about the Squatty Potty and insist that you use one. It really is just so freaking cool!

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  1. says

    I had NO idea that squatty poop also helped reduce the risk of colon cancer! That is amazing!

    I’m entering, but am researching the dimensions. I’m hoping it would FIT in my little travel trailer bathroom around my little travel trailer potty.

    “Squatty Potty” is fun to say!

  2. says

    I LOVE this post. I think you have addressed an important issue that many of us just don’t talk about because we have been conditioned not to talk about *shhh* poo.

    While I’m not one to jump on a bandwagon, I’m intrigued by this and think I just may have to get one. With young children, I’ll be looking at the plastic one. I’m afraid the wooden ones might not be as hyegnic with missed aims.

    I’ve long understood that we are designed to defecate while squatting, but I hadn’t looked into it enough to realize the colon cancer link. As someone whose mother had colon cancer, and watched her fight various other cancers from it and treatment, I think that along with diet, I should be looking at some more of the physical ways I can help my family be avoid health problems.

  3. says

    Holy cow – I, too, am aware and in awe of the magical powers of squatting to poop…and what I learned from their page is that potty stools don’t have to be heinously ugly. That bamboo one is dreamy!

  4. Alisha Hunt says

    I would love the bamboo one! My husband and I have just been perching on our toilet, which is definitely not the easiest thing to do. This would be so wonderful to have!! I love that you are giving one of these away and talking about a real issue like this!

  5. says

    Helps pelvic floor issues! I have suspected as much and normally prop a foot on the tub edge, but Squatty Potty looks much more effective!

  6. Anonymous says

    I would choose the bamboo squatty potty, because it looks very nice, it is also bamboo so it is durable. I learned that it can help pelvic organ prolapses, which is especially helpful for me.

  7. says

    Wow, lots of entries! Great!
    I would choose an 8.5″ bamboo squatty potty because our bathroom has a lot of moisture.
    I learned that the Iranian style of toileting led to more complete bowel movements than the western style.

  8. says

    I NEED one of these! I have been trying to figure out how to get into a better poop position. My physical therapist would be thrilled and I’ll tell her about these! I could also include it in my upcoming blog about pelvic floor health. One thing I learned from the website is I finally saw the picture of that pelvic floor muscular “sling” my PT talks about from that diagram! I followed with @whipitoutsongs on twitter, mooreamalatt on youtube and mooreamalatt on Facebook. I would love the white squatty Potty for our home because I like more natural materials than plastic and white matches our house more than bamboo.

  9. says

    Oh, should I also get nitty gritty like you and say that the reason I need is is chronic IBS, impending ulcerative colitis, gas, bloating, chronic bowel issues and a terrifying rectocele which I think this would help tremendously with! Also, with other therapies I’m kind of tapped out in the money department.

  10. Jenn @ Monkey Butt Junction says

    I just want to say “squatty potty.” That’s fun.

    The colon cancer fact is interesting. Scary to learn the many ways that some of our modern innovations are killing us.

    Fun giveaway!

  11. MomE says

    Which one would I choose? Are we talking realistically or in the world of dreams where we have money to burn? :) Realistically, I’d choose the Plastic Squatty Potty. If I had my druthers, I’d get the White Squatty Potty…it matches our bathroom (altho the bamboo one is damned lovely).

    I learned that apparently America does EVERYTHING wrong. Not only do we birth in the wrong position, we poop in the wrong position. Oh, America…you so crazy.

  12. says

    I have UC as well so I’ve done plenty of ‘poop research’ and didn’t think I’d be learning anything new – but I learned that it reduces UTIs as well!

    I’d get the bamboo one if money wasn’t an issue, since it’s pretty and wouldn’t look silly in the bathroom.

  13. says

    I’d choose the wooden one if I could afford it – but I also love that they have more affordable options. Will have to be honest about what I learned too – when I was first reading the review, for some reason I had this picture in my head of an actual ‘potty’ – like something you would have to dump, right? Of course saw immediately at the site that that’s not what they are – and was kind of relieved. 😀 I learned other things too, but thought you would appreciate that one the most. 😉

    Oh and thank you for opening the giveaway to Canadians!!

  14. says

    I would love to win a squatty potty. I think this would really help my husband in the painful poop department. I’m sure he won’t mind me sharing that on the internet. I would choose the bamboo one.

  15. says

    and subscribed on youtube, however I cannot figure out how to sign up for their newsletter. is that the same thing as their free guide?

  16. Susan says

    I’d like the Bamboo!

    I find it interesting that they say use of the Squatty Potty increases nutrient absorption.

  17. says

    I love the bamboo look, but I would probably choose the white squatty potty to blend in with my bathroom.

    The thing I learned: one of the health benefits to squatting when nature calls is increased ability to absorb nutrients. Interesting.

  18. Anonymous says

    One could also use one’s baby’s/toddler’s little potty, if one is desperate enough… yes I know this is quite an interesting thing to imagine, but I admit I have done it…I used my baby’s baby bjorn potty in order to use more of a squatting posture. Also, I squat on the toilet quite often.

  19. Lynn says

    Jennifer, thank you so much for this enlightening information. I would choose the classic squatty potty, I think it would be easier to clean than the bamboo and would blend in better to the decor. I have learned from you and the squatty potty website that this is so much more healthy, wow. I have had trouble with hemoroids. But my son, an older teen, had gotten an infection from straining. He ended up having surgury. This would help my family tremendously.

  20. Sera F says

    I would love to win the classic! I have learned so much from both your blog and their website – i didn’t even know this item existed but it totally makes sense the benefit of sitting in this correct position!

  21. says

    I tried to sign up for the squatty potty newsletter but I cannot find where on the site to sign up for it. There are videos and there is a place to download a free guide (which I did), but I don’t see the newsletter link. :(

  22. says

    This is great. I usually either use a step stool to prop up my feet, or just perch precariously on the potty seat itself. I think I would go with the classic, although the bamboo one looks pretty sharp.

  23. Amylnitrite says

    I love the bamboo one the best, its so pretty! It definitely has more of a decor look to it. I had no idea that the difference in anatomy was so great between sitting and squatting when pooping. Plus, I think the happy colon slogan and :) is really clever.

  24. Jessica says

    Very cool! I have never heard of this, but love that it can help pelvic floor problems! I would love the bamboo squatty potty.

  25. says

    I would really love the bamboo one but I don’t love the $79….

    I learned that pooping in the squatting position allows the colon to straighten out allowing it to ease it on out. I also learned it reduces colon cancer!

    I have subscribed to Squatty Potty on Facebook and Twitter

    I have subscribed to your blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

    My e-mail is:

  26. says

    This has nothing to do with entering the drawing but I just wanted to say thank you for posting on this topic. It is not one many people are willing to address. I have been able to do some research of my own on this since reading your post and have found it to be very educational and informative.

  27. says

    @Lynn Lynn, you are the winner but you did not leave a way for me to contact you. Please reply here with your email address by June 5th 2:00pm PST. I will have to pick a new winner after that! :(

  28. says

    Our winner left no way for me to contact her! Here is the winning comment:

    Lynn said May 31, 2012 2:39 AM

    Jennifer, thank you so much for this enlightening information. I would choose the classic squatty potty, I think it would be easier to clean than the bamboo and would blend in better to the decor. I have learned from you and the squatty potty website that this is so much more healthy, wow. I have had trouble with hemoroids. But my son, an older teen, had gotten an infection from straining. He ended up having surgury. This would help my family tremendously.

    PLEASE REPLY with your email by 06/05, 2:00pm PST or I will draw a new winner!

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