World Toilet Day –– Squat or Sit? Here Are Some Benefits of Using an Indian Toilet
World Toilet Day is celebrated every year on November 19. Did you know that squatting in an Indian toilet has immense health benefits ranging from better digestion to enabling natural birth.
गाँव कनेक्शन 18 Nov 2023 2:13 PM GMT
There was a time not too long ago when every Indian household had a toilet that required its users to squat over it. People, young and old did, till the western world caught up with us and we began to use the commode that only required us to sit on it, as we would on a chair.
People started finding comfort in the western toilet over the Indian one, and it was here to stay.
However, over the years, several studies have shown that western toilets could be the cause of constipation, haemorrhoids, and other digestive disorders, and there are multiple benefits of using an Indian toilet.
According to a 2020 article published in Journal of Advanced Medical and Dental Sciences Research, “The colon is equipped with an inlet valve (the ileocecal valve) and an outlet valve (the puborectalis muscle). Squatting simultaneously closes the inlet valve, to keep waste from pushing back up into the small intestine, and opens the outlet valve, to allow wastes to pass freely out of the body. The sitting position defeats the purpose of both valves, making elimination difficult and incomplete, and increasing the risk of waste backing up into the small intestine where it should not be.”
This research article goes on to note:
- The Indian toilet is hygienic.
- Indian toilets help in better digestion.
- Indian toilets prevent constipation.
- Indian toilets are good for pregnant women. It is said that using Indian toilets regularly makes pregnant women ready for a smooth and natural delivery.
- It can prevent colon cancer and other diseases. Squatting helps in the complete evacuation of the stool from the colon in our body. This prevents the chances of constipation, appendicitis and other factors that can cause colon cancer.
Another 2018 article, ‘Western toilets, Indian society and public health’, published in The National Medical Journal of India, points out that: “Defecation in the squatting posture has benefits when compared to that in the sitting posture. The sensation of satisfactory bowel emptying in the sitting defecation posture necessitates excessive expulsive effort and longer duration compared to the squatting posture.”
Traditional practices of sitting on the floor and eating, sitting on our haunches to cook, clean or do other daily chores, and squatting in order to defecate all kept our limbs flexible, supple and our guts in good working order.