Did you know that most of the world’s population doesn’t sit when pooping? It’s true!
Instead, most people use a squatting position. People all over the world in Japan, China, India, Kenya, Uganda, and more Asian and African countries use squat toilets.
You may even come across a squat pot when camping in the USA.
So what is a squat pot? Let’s take a closer look!
What Does Squat Pot Mean?
While sitting is the common position for Westerners, squatting is actually the more common position in Asia and Africa. The use of squat pots (also called squat toilets) in those countries has resulted in less constipation and hemorrhoids, which usually result from straining.
Sometimes the toilet is flush with the floor like a hole in the ground, while others might be raised but still require a squatting position.
A Utah family invented the “Squatty Potty,” a stool designed to raise your knees above your hips when you poop to create a better position. Evidence shows that this device really does work in helping prevent constipation and helping move your waste through your colon more easily.
In the U.S., the Squatty Potty stool is the closest we have to squat toilets.
Do Squat Toilets Flush?
Although not common or widespread, ceramic squat toilets are available for installation in residential houses in the U.S. These toilets operate the same way standard toilets do.
The only difference is their low position. In other countries across Asia and Africa, it’s more common to walk into a public restroom and find a lower toilet like a squat toilet to encourage a better sitting position and healthier removal of bodily waste.
So yes, these toilets flush and have regular plumbing like standard toilets.
But not all squat toilets are equipped with standard flushing systems. In rural areas of the world, a squat pot is more like a hole in the ground than an operational flushing toilet. But if you visit more industrialized nations like China, you’ll find squat toilets that flush.
The Benefits of a Squat Pot
The digestive process mixes leftover waste and water in your large intestine. This forms stool, and it remains in your rectum because of the puborectalis muscle. When it’s time to go to the bathroom, the rectum contracts, and the puborectalis muscle relaxes, allowing the stool to pass through.
When we squat to poop, the puborectalis muscle relaxes more, which means less straining. On the other hand, the puborectalis muscle acts more like a kink in a garden hose when we’re in a sitting position.
Studies show that when people squat, they go more easily and more quickly. When pooping becomes easier, cases of hemorrhoids and constipation decrease.
You don’t have to buy a squat pot to get into a squatting position, but it does make it easier. It could also replace laxatives for people who frequently get constipated.
The Disadvantages of a Squat Pot
There don’t seem to be any health risks in using a squat pot. In fact, there are more health benefits than concerns. However, using a squat pot might hide any gastrointestinal problems or chronic medical conditions that you may have.
So you certainly want to consult your physician if you have frequent issues going to the bathroom. There may be underlying serious issues that you need to address.
It could be more difficult for older adults to get out of a squatting position. The squat pot will raise the knees, which could be uncomfortable for anyone with joint pain.
People with disabilities may also find using a squat pot difficult. Some people may need to install handrails along with their squat pot.
Finally, some people just don’t like the image of squatting. This is how the pedestal sitting toilet began in the first place. People may be biased against squat toilets because they feel like they should be sitting on a “throne” when using the restroom and not squatting low to the ground.
Can You Poop in a Squat Toilet?
You should poop in a squat toilet. It was designed for that purpose. Whether you have one installed in your house, take one with you when camping, or use one when visiting a foreign country, you should use it to poop.
However, if you don’t have a flushing system, you’ll need to know how to dispose of the waste properly. You don’t want to just leave the waste sitting in the hole.
Pro Tip: Before you switch out your RV toilet find out The Nasty Truth of RV Composting Toilets.
What Do You Do With Human Waste When Camping?
When camping, you want to “leave no trace.” If you don’t properly get rid of your waste, you’re certainly not following that rule. People who come along after you want to enjoy that space as well. Human waste can carry diseases and attract wildlife. So make sure you’re using a bag inside the portable toilet.
When the bag is full or when you can’t stand the smell anymore, tie it up and take it to a sewage dumping location. You can leave it inside a bucket with a tight lid if you don’t have a disposal location nearby.
If you’re camping in an RV with a flushable toilet, you just use the bathroom as usual.
Once the black tank is full, you empty it into a sewage dumping location — either at your campsite or nearby at a separate dump station. Never empty your black tank onto the ground.
Are Squat Toilets More Hygienic?
Squat pot toilets are more hygienic because there’s less height for the poop to fall when in a squatting position. They reduce the splashing that occurs when someone is in a sitting position. Splashing when using the bathroom sends bodily waste up underneath the toilet seat.
It sometimes splashes enough to send bodily waste on top of the toilet seat. While sitting, you can also feel the water and waste splash on your rear end. All of this is unhygienic. When in a squatting position, your rear end is closer to the water, which reduces the amount of splashing.
If the squat toilet is level with the floor, the user also doesn’t touch the seat. This is more hygienic, especially in public restrooms.
These toilets are also easier to clean than standard sitting toilets since they’re flush with the floor. Simply run a mop over the top.
Pro Tip: Keep your RV toilet clog free by discovering Is Toilet Paper Safe to Put in Your RV Black Tank?
Which Country Invented the Squat Toilet?
For centuries, humans have used the bathroom where they pleased. Maybe they dug a hole, maybe they walked close to some bushes, or perhaps they just squatted down where they were.
However, once humans started living in fixed residences, something had to be done about the smell. Of course, this was only for the rich. Poor people continued to use the bathroom in the streets and still do so even today.
Sir John Harington invented the first flush toilet in the late 1500s in England. However, it took many years for his invention to take off. In 1775, Alexander Cumming of Scotland was granted the first patent. The pedestal toilet really became more of a symbol of wealth and esteem.
People thought sitting was more proper than squatting and didn’t realize the health benefits of the squatting position. Today, countries all over Asia and Africa continue to use squat toilets. Most Americans and Westerners have probably never even seen one.
Is a Squat Pot Worth It?
For health-conscious individuals, a squat pot is probably worth the investment. If you want to install one in your house, it will cost several hundred dollars.
But the health benefits are certainly clear. As Westerners, we tend to think we live in a land of progress and industrialization. However, the other half of the world seems to have it right when it comes to toilets.
Do you think squat toilets will ever catch on in the U.S.? Drop a comment below!
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