How can I squat hard

Constipation: Crouching posture helps with bowel movements

Long periods of sitting, pressing and pushing: Constipation plagues many people. Few suspect that the sitting position could be to blame for their problem. But it's true: the posture we usually adopt on the toilet is anything but optimal.

For us it is natural to sit on the toilet like on a chair. This attitude is actually not at all natural. In ancient times and before the sit-down toilet was invented, people simply crouched down to do their "business". In many parts of Asia and Africa, but also in some European countries, there are still squat toilets today. It is noteworthy that bowel problems such as constipation or hemorrhoids hardly occur in these regions.

Giulia Enders also reports in her bestseller "Gut mit Charme" about a study in which test persons required an average of 130 seconds to pass stool while sitting, while crouching stool only took 50 seconds.

Info: There are two types of constipation: the sluggish bowel and the bowel movement disorder. While the stool barely moves forward in the lazy bowel, the defecation disorder leads to a blockage inside.

Sitting upright on the toilet leads to kinks in the bowel

The explanation is simple: In the deep squat (also known as the Asian squat), the angle between the upper body and thigh is smaller. As a result, the pelvic floor muscle relaxes and the bowel is in a straight position, making it easier to defecate.

Sitting upright on the toilet, on the other hand, can aggravate the problems: "In the normal toilet position, the rectum is slightly kinked, which makes emptying or complete emptying more difficult," explains Professor Thomas Frieling, Director of Medical Clinic II at the Helios Clinic in Krefeld and member of the board the gastro league. This is due to the inner pubic and rectum muscle - a muscle of the pelvic floor - which cannot completely relax in the upright sitting position.

A steep angle between the intestines and anus improves bowel movements. (Source: Thinkstock by Getty-Images)

Footstool facilitates bowel movements

The squatting position can be easily imitated in the toilet at home. Especially those who suffer from constipation can benefit from a footstool. You put your feet on these while sitting on the toilet. The resulting steeper angle between the intestine and anus ensures that the rectum is straightened and the stool can slide out more easily.

"A height between 20 and 30 centimeters is ideal," recommends Frieling. "Then you are in the natural crouching position that our ancestors sat in. The angle between the upper body and thigh is then around 35 degrees. This is the easiest way to empty."

Prevent hemorrhoids and anal fissures

But the small stool has other advantages: "Since you have to squeeze less while squatting on the toilet, enlarged hemorrhoids and anal fissures, i.e. small tears in the mucous membrane on the anus, can be prevented," explains the expert and advises the bench if there are problems with constipation just try it out. "You can't do anything wrong." There are special toilet footstools to buy, but a simple footstool will also do its job, as long as it is the right height.

Thinking pose for easier bowel movements

It can already help to assume the so-called "thinking pose" in the toilet. The two doctors Shigetsugu Takano and Dana Sands came to this conclusion. In their research work "Influence of posture on bowel movements: a prospective study of the 'thinking position'" they were able to show that it makes it easier to defecate if one leans the upper body forward, rests the elbows on the thighs near the knees and the Put your head in your hand. The study was published in the journal "Techniques in Coloproctology".

Do not stress the bowels

Whichever variant you choose: "Sometimes the intestine just takes a little longer to become active," says Frieling. "You should relax and wait until the natural intestinal motor skills set in," he says. So if you are pressed for time, it is better not to go to the toilet.

More tips for good digestion

The sitting posture alone cannot work miracles, however. It is also important to adhere to a healthy lifestyle. who enough liquid eats, ensures a soft stool and stimulates bowel activity.Fiber from fruit, vegetables and whole grain products make the stool more voluminous and softer. Regular exercise stimulates the bowel movement. If the constipation cannot be controlled, a doctor should be consulted for advice. The symptoms can only be treated in the long term if the cause is known.

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.