Healthy Living

Improving toilet visits: right posture to eliminate wastes

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By Beatrice Nakibuuka

Posted  Monday, March 10   2014 at  09:50
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Is your toilet posture right? The modern toilet requires us to change the position we use to eliminate our body wastes. However, body position impacts on proper elimination of wastes especially with sitting toilets. “Although the sitting position feels more relaxed and reduces the strain in the thighs, calves and ankles, the colon is not fully relaxed in this position so the process of peristalsis is not complete,” says Dr Christopher Opio, a gastroenterologist at Mulago Hospital.

The sitting position requires one to place knees at right angles to your abdomen which causes rectal outlet obstruction. This can lead to constipation, pelvic floor issues (failure of the normal relaxation of the pelvic muscles), colon disease and cancer due to fecal build up in the colon, hemorrhoids (swollen vascular structures in the anal canal that can lead to pain and rectal bleeding), appendicitis and similar digestive ailments.

Squatting toilets, though considered primitive and outdated, give the best natural position to achieve easier and more complete elimination of wastes from our bodies. While squatting, the knees and hips are sharply bent and buttocks are suspended near the ground. This reduces the pressure you would use to push out the wastes. Urinary flow is normally easier, faster and more complete while squatting than sitting position in women.

Dr Opio adds: “When you closely watch animals, they also use the squatting position. It is because this is the natural way therefore more recommendable than the sitting one.”

For hygiene reasons, the squatting position is the best, especially because most toilets have many users so sitting may lead to soiling with urine or faecal material thus spreading germs.

The position also reduces the duration spent and lesser pressure is used compared to using the sitting position. For pregnant women, it helps avoid the pressure on the uterus, and daily usage of this position helps one to prepare for a more natural birth compared to the sitting position.