LIFESTYLE

You've Been Pooing Wrong All Along: German Scientist Reveals Our Toilet Technique Isn't Good For Our Bottoms

19/05/2015 11:25 BST | Updated 19/05/2015 11:59 BST

Pooing: we all do it. But have you ever considered that your toilet technique might be all wrong?

If you sit on the toilet seat and go about your business - which is pretty much what everyone does - then you've been doing it wrong, says german scientist and author Giulia Enders.

In fact, squatting is the key to a healthy bowel movement, she explains.

sitting on toilet

The microbiologist says that in western countries, many people will sit down to poo.

This, Enders explains, has a negative effect on the body as it affects the shape of the muscles at the end of your colon. These make it more difficult to squeeze out a poo and increase the likelihood of piles or other issues.

“1.2 billion people around the world who squat have almost no incidence of diverticulosis and fewer problems with piles," she tells the Guardian.

"We in the west, on the other hand, squeeze our gut tissue until it comes out of our bottoms.”

Enders adds that squatting is effective because it allows your bowels to "open the hatch" properly.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4 on Woman's Hour, she reveals: "When you sit or stand, there's a muscle that goes around the end of the colon and it pulls, so there's a curve.

"When we're in a squatting position, and have a little stool in front of the toilet, then the angle is even and straight, so there's less pressure needed."

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In addition to how you do it, there's also the question of whether your poop is healthy or not.

Earlier this month, HuffPost UK reports that the texture, shape and colour of your dung can hint at health issues including dehydration, undetected illnesses and dietary deficiencies.

For example, if you're excreting hard, pebbly poos, you may be lacking in the fibre and fluid departments.

Meanwhile softer stools generally mean you're doing fine.

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Toilet Notes

In Enders' translated book, which is about gut health (and, of course, poo), she also explains how humans have two sphincters.

The outer sphincter is the one which we all open consciously when we go to the toilet.

Meanwhile the inner one is the one for analysing whether it's "safe" to poo or pass wind. For example, if you're at home then you're good to go. If not, the inner sphincter works its magic.

However if the inner sphincter is ignored enough times (for example, if you feel nervous about going to the toilet because someone might hear you) then it can cause constipation.

So, Enders explains, we should listen to our inner sphincter more.

'Gut, The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ' is available to buy in the UK and online from 24 May.