By Dr. Mark Boyle

In a 2003 study, 28 healthy people volunteered to time themselves doing their business in three alternate positions: sitting on a standard toilet, sitting on a low toilet and squatting. They not only recorded how long it took them but also how much effort it took. Squatting, the study concluded, takes less time and effort. Simply put, it straightens out the colon. When… we’re standing, the colon (where the waste is stored) gets pushed up against the puborectalis muscle, which keeps fecal continence until it’s time to hit the bathroom. Sitting down only partially relaxes that muscle. Squatting fully relaxes it, essentially straightening out the colon. Can’t squat? Try putting a stool or some books under your legs to raise them while on the toilet, so you are in more of a squat position.