When you sit down to go “number 2″ do you really think about what it takes to get everything out? There’s much debate as to whether its better to sit or squat. When it comes to hemorrhoids—a painful swelling of the veins in the anal canal that affects half of all Americans—new research suggests that you may want to get your butt off the toilet.
People can control their defecation, to some extent, by contracting or releasing the anal sphincter. But that muscle can’t maintain continence on its own. The body also relies on a bend between the rectum—where feces builds up—and the anus—where feces comes out. When we’re standing up, the extent of this bend, called the anorectal angle, is about 90 degrees, which puts upward pressure on the rectum and keeps feces inside. In a squatting posture, the bend straightens out, like a kink ringed out of a garden hose, and defecation becomes easier.
Proponents of squatting argue that conventional toilets produce an anorectal angle that’s ill-suited for defecation. By squatting, they say, we can achieve “complete evacuation” of the colon, ridding our bowels of disease causing toxins.
f squatting does provide a health benefit, just as Michael Freilich stated in Time, it comes in the form of hemorrhoid prevention.