A response to the recent and popular Disinformation article entitled “On The Evils Of Chairs“.
Warning, do not read this while eating food, it may put you off.
Years ago I used to clean toilets for a big supermarket. I’ll never forget seeing a fully fledged brown trout sat on the edge of the toilet seat one day and wondering, ‘how do you miss when you’re doing one of those?’. It turns out that whoever was responsible had probably been learning to use the squat technique which I’m about to advocate to you, a fellow Disinfonaught. I do so only because once you try this you will honestly never look back.
My first experience of squatting came through an article in, Dodgem Logic, the magazine Alan Moore edited for a year or so. It has recently been kindly posted on the original author, Margaret Killjoy (or Magpie)’s, personal website. His main points are:
1 “When you squat, you go more easily, more quickly, and more completely”.
2 “Toilet squatting isn’t scientifically proven to cure hemorrhoids, but I’m pretty sure it helped me out”.
3 “Squatting to crap straightens out the colon, allowing you to clear yourself out better. There’s this wonderful little muscle called the puborectalis muscle that keeps your rectum shut unless it’s relaxed, which it can’t do in a sitting position.
Then there’s the ileocecal valve, which connects your small intestine to your colon.
And, surprise surprise, it shuts itself completely when you squat, but not when you sit. The result of sitting? Minor leakage of fecal matter back up into your system. Oh and there’s a natural kink there, where the colon attaches to your intestines. It straightens itself out when your thighs, in the squatting position, are up against your abdomen.
Further, it’s been suggested that when your colon isn’t fully emptied your feces kind of rots inside you, causing any number of ill-effects, including an increased risk of colon cancer.”
This final point is worth dwelling on. If you sit on a toilet to go you are more likely to get colon cancer according to various sources. From Toilet-related-ailments.com:
“Each year, about 150,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer in the United States alone. Although the disease is the fourth-leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide, few people living in developing nations contract the illness…“For decades, many Western researchers have been trying to find an explanation for this phenomenon.
But coming from a society where sitting toilets are well and truly entrenched, they couldn’t understand or accept how toilet posture could be the reason…
How could they? Almost none of them has ever used or seen a squatting toilet before… As a result, the researchers had missed the important connection between the toilet posture and colon cancer.
1 People in the developing world squat for waste elimination.
2 People in the West sit.
OK, got your interest yet?
Here’s how Magpie suggests you do it:
If you’ve got your shoes on, you put the seat up and squat on the rim. In your socks or barefooted, squat on the seat. At first, yes, it’s hard to balance. Put your hand on the wall, or the toilet-paper dispenser, or the handicap bars, whatever, to support yourself. Within weeks you’ll be squatting like a pro, and you’ll never want to go back to sitting again.
His blunt yet amusing article on the subject is well worth reading.
Your correspondent tried it once and was instantly converted. It seemed to increase my weight loss and is clearly a much more efficient way of ‘doing business’. I recently told a mate of mine and she sent me the following tweet the next morning: “you’ve changed my life”.
It’s not the most palatable subject in the world but I’m hard put to think of a better example of the fact “Everything you know is wrong“.
 The Slate article linked to below actually suggests there is now evidence that it helps with this condition. Never suffered from it personally but imagine this might be a bonus if you do.
 This is only my personal experience. As far as I’m aware there has been no research into the weight loss side of things.
The Slate carries an excellent article on the subject
Nature’s Platform goes into extraordinary detail
Finally there’s an amusing collection of pictures on the Reuters website from the South Korean Toilet Culture Park here
I write on Disinfo for fun, I've been a fan of the company for years.
In the real world I'm a freelance TV/radio presenter. I've worked for LBC, Kerrang Radio, The Bay, Edge Media TV, Hallam FM and The BBC.
My podcast is here: http://thecultofnick.libsyn.com/
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