Beware the Squatty Potty

The Squatty Potty is an invention by Robert Edwards; its express purpose to to improve the quality and ease of your bowel movements while on the toilet. It has a catchy name and is sold everywhere from Target to Amazon.com. The squatty potty is a stool that is designed to fit around the front of a standard toilet bowl, providing lift to your legs and resulting in a squatting-type position rather than sitting position while moving your bowels.

An ad for the Squatty Potty. Via the coupon website hip2save.

An ad for the Squatty Potty. Via the coupon website hip2save.

Among the Squatty Potty’s claims are these:

The modern day toilet is convenient, but has one major fault; it requires us to sit. While sitting to do our business may be considered “civilized”, studies show the natural squat position improves our ability to eliminate.

[…]

The puborectalis muscle creates a natural kink to help maintain continence. Squatty Potty relaxes this muscle for fast, easy elimination.

The marketing declares that sitting on the toilet is not as beneficial or effective as squatting. Since this is an obvious naturalistic fallacy, we have the refreshing twist of a new device intended to make one more “natural.” This is common in marketing, where one often sees the equation of “natural=good,” with total disregard for reality. The Squatty Potty is a simple yet interesting device with a catchy name. The marketing is what draws my skeptical eye. They make very specific claims about the research and anatomical benefit—testable claims. Let’s take a close look at the research and find out if the claims are full of it.

The first thing any good skeptic should do when faced with a marketing claim is evaluate the plausibility of the claim. Low plausibility means that claims require more rigorous proof. The Squatty Potty actually scores pretty high on the plausibility scale. The position that the device places you in is a very plausible mechanism for easier stooling.

Plastic aryballos in the shape of a squatting man, perhaps a comic actor. Terracotta, made in Corinth, ca. 600-550 BC. From Naucratis, Egypt. Via Wikimedia

Raising your legs can be a mechanism to improve your bowel movements. This is irrelevant to the claimed colon-kinking anatomical issue. When you bear down on the toilet, you are performing what’s called a Valsalva maneuver. You are forcing expiration against either a closed glottis, or contracting strongly your thoracic and abdominal muscles increasing intra-abdominal pressure. Similar changes can also occur when a person lifts a heavy weight while holding their breath. Sitting in any squat-type position while bearing down is likely to increase that intra-abdominal pressure, resulting in a more effortless bowel movement. Although this is not the claim in the marketing, the Squatty Potty has a very plausible mechanism to improve the ease of bowel movements.

What about the other claims? Namely that it produces an anatomically improved position and produces a “cleaner colon.” These things are easy to claim and hard to prove. The Squatty Potty is not the first product to claim this benefit. It is a smaller and cheaper version of other squat-position devices, such as the Lilipad and the Nature’s Platform. There are others. Basically they all make the same claims. The Squatty potty claims that it has developed a sweet spot (pun intended) of not too much sitting, not to much squatting.

The website lists several research papers supporting their position:

The first is a Japanese study, “The Influence of Body Position on Defecation in Humans.” It is a small-scale, six-person, uncontrolled study. Sure, I buy it as research, but it is a index study. It limits include tiny non-heterogenous (one male, five female) cohort, with no controls and without blinding. Interestingly, full squat is considered the best, which is not the Squatty Potty position. It doesn’t support the claim that Squatty Potty’s squat is better than a full squat.

The next study has my favorite title of the the group: “Impact of Ethnic Habits on Defecographic Measurements.” (As an aside, I think I need to add “defecographic measurements,” which means “poop X-ray study,” to my medical lexicon… but I digress.) This was a small study that used barium enemas and radiography to evaluate the anorectic opening in defecation.Imaging revealed that the rectal opening was measurable larger in a squatting position. But this study has two major issues. If you use a population that squats to move their bowels and then place them on a first-world toilet bowl, as was done here, you are disrupting their accustomed maneuver. You would need a control group of Europeans to do the same tests to realistically support superior evacuation. Plus moving your bowels is an activity that has deep social and cultural taboos associated with it. Making major changes may cause the participants to rush or change their normal structure. Imaging revealed that the rectal opening was measurable larger in a squatting position. Any of these factors can have a major impact upon on bowel evacuation.

The third research paper posted was “Comparison of Straining During Defecation in Three Positions.” It’s a larger study than the first, but it’s still very small. Researchers used a subjective questionnaire to have subjects rate straining. The findings were similar to the other studies: full squat results in the lowest straining.

Overall the research is flawed and not very compelling. It does have the upside of replications of results. Interestingly, the results do not support the website’s assertion that the Squatty Potty is superior to squatting fully. So I’m not really sure why the website lists this research as scientific evidence for their modified toilet stool.

A squat toilet inside China Railways CRH1 trains running Guangshen line. Via Wikimedia.

Based on my reading of the research offered I would say the squatting is the most beneficial for anatomical opening. That is about all the research says. How suboptimal sitting and partial squatting is remains unclear. The study related to straining is too qualitative and small to make that distinction.

Overall, the direct claims  The Squatty Potty specifically makes—such as “elevating your feet during elimination is healthier” and “primary (simple) constipation is a consequence of habitual bowel elimination on common toilet seats”—are unsupported by the research they provide.

This is where the Squatty claims are full of it, in my estimation. They cite figures such as these:

“4-10 million Americans have chronic constipation (defined as having a bowel movement less than three times per week), and as many as 63 million people are suffering at any time from occasional constipation.”

The real research is left out of the website’s facts page. Self-reported constipation in the United States and the United Kingdom is more prevalent in women, nonwhites, and those over age 60. And surveys of physician visits for constipation have also confirmed this, finding more visits by women, nonwhites, those with lower incomes, and patients with less than 12 years of education. After adjusting for these factors, it is more common in individuals with little daily physical activity, low income, and poor education.

The prevalence of chronic constipation rises with age, most dramatically in patients 65 years of age or older. In this older age group, approximately 26 percent of men and 34 percent of women complain of constipation. Constipation appears to correlate with decreased caloric intake in the elderly but not with either fluid or fiber intake.

The glaring omission by Squatty Potty here is the fact that constipation correlates with many issues. Yet none of them are position-related. So although the research they offer can suggest that squatting makes bowel movements easier it doesn’t automatically follow that sitting contributes to constipation.

Constipation is a complicated medical issue. There are a myriad of medical conditions, medications, and diseases that cause constipation. Constipation has too many variables to lock it down to a single vague, unproven supposition that your anatomy is interfering with your stooling. Your lower intestines are not a standpipe and fecal consistency is another variable. There is just no credible evidence that sitting is a problem. It may be dangerous to assume that sitting is a problem. Treating simple constipation with a stool may work but it could also be dangerous: you may miss a serious health issue early because you assume that your position is giving you constipation. That is not the only downside for using a toilet stool.

The Squatty Potty marketing gives the false impression that better bowel movements equates with better health. They are not alone; many alternative treatments tend to give the impression that our bowels are trying to kill us. Brian Dunning went over this in Skeptoid episode #83, “The Detoxification Myth.” There is no real evidence that better bowel movements equate with better health. There is no evidence that squatting produces a larger or more complete bowel movement. Even though the position may make an easier bowel movement, that doesn’t equate to bigger or healthier. Anyone who has had to undergo a colonoscopy will tell you that cleaning out your colon is fatiguing and undesirable. Medically speaking, bowel cleansing claims can be dangerous or nonsensical. Your colon is not the center of healthy living, and consequently cleansing is of marginal health benefit.

Overall I would say this about the Squatty Potty: on the positive side it almost certainly enhances your ability to bear down when you go. There is some replicated evidence that squatting does foster ease of going. As for the negatives, there is no evidence that it prevents or treats uncomplicated constipation. There’s no real evidence that anatomic position is a risk factor for constipation, and no real evidence that it is significantly different than other types of toilet squat devices. It leads you to believe that sitting is an impairment to normal bowel movements. That implied problem is not supported by the research and is unlikely, based on uneven distribution of constipation problems.

So why buy a Squatty Potty? I can’t say I think it’s worth it. Truthfully, it looks a little ridiculous, not that that means anything during a bowel movement. It really has no effect on other factors that impact constipation—diet, exercise, age and medical issues. I am uncertain that changing your position is enough of a benefit to help anyone suffering from chronic constipation. I can say that it is not dangerous and it may make it easier for you to bear down or reduce straining if you are constipated. It is just not reasonable to say that it has any significant effect on your overall bowel habits.

On the upside, Squatty Potty is relatively inexpensive, seems safe, and as long as you have a realistic view of the benefit I can see someone using it.

 

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Disclaimer: This post is my personal opinion, it is not a substitute for medical care. It is for informational purposes only. The information on Skeptoid blog is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your own physician or other qualified health care professional regarding any medical questions or conditions. This post does not reflect the opinion of my partners, professional affiliates, or academic affiliations. I have no financial conflicts of interest to disclose.

About Stephen Propatier

Stephen Propatier is a board certified acute care nurse practitioner specializing in spine and sports medicine. He is a member of the Society for Science Based Medicine and is adjunct faculty for both Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School and Rhode Island College Graduate School of Nursing.
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271 Responses to Beware the Squatty Potty

  1. Michelle M says:

    I don’t know about constipation, that does seem to be a vacuous claim. However I’ve heard that the squatting position helps prevent hemorrhoids.

    • Based on the limited research it is at least plausible that it might help straining and excessive bearing down. I suspect that the help would be minimal.

      • Matt says:

        It is all well and good to say beware but the majority of people using it are saying it is excellent and does what it says. I would rather get advise of people using it.

        • Noah Dillon says:

          How do you know it’s the “majority” of people using it? And how does saying they like the thing become evidence for it providing a physical benefit? Just because someone likes a product doesn’t mean that it’s doing everything that an advertiser claims.

          • Rhys says:

            I don’t have the official squattypotty, just a box to put my feet on which I have used for a few days. But so far it works for me. I don’t care about the majority of people, or in this instance, research! I suggest you all get a box and give it a go, you don’t need to invest any hard earned as a box is usually free/around. Then you can stop showing how educated you are and instead speak and poo from an informed position (which oddly happens to be squatting).

          • David Phillips says:

            Constipation, would never be vacuous (-;

          • David Phillips says:

            I imagine the ‘majority’, of people on this forum, will be S.P. users, and as such, will give positive commentary based upon practical experience.

        • Stephen Frost says:

          Skeptic rule number 1: The plural of anecdote is not data.
          People swear homeopathy and chiropractic work. It means nothing.

          • Swampwitch7 says:

            Mr Frost please refrain from reflexively bashing chiropractors. If you have a problem that can benefit from chiropractic adjustment and a good chiropractor, you will feel better. It will not cure cancer. It will not cure stupidity. It will not make your hair grow in thicker. It will not heal broken bones or fix congenital defects. Like any other therapy, used correctly by a competent practitioner, it is useful for those who need it. If you don’t need it, don’t go to a chiropractor.

            BTW the squatty potty will be exceedingly unpleasant for anyone with low-back instability or weakness to use. Getting down there isn’t too bad, but getting up may require crawling off the throne. If you can’t do deep-knee bends, stay off the squatty potty unless you want to spend the week there………….. 🙂

          • J D says:

            Except to the people that actually engage in the activity. Soooo try it and get back to us with your findings that way it’s an informed opinion

          • Noah Dillon says:

            It’s not necessary to try something to have an informed understanding of it. I’ve never tried to eat dung, but I know that the informed consensus is that it’s a bad idea. You can also rely on scientific evidence, as here, where phenomena are rigorously studied and the results are collated and analyzed, rather than relying on people to say whether or not the useless thing they spent money on actually does anything or not.

        • Melissa says:

          I agree!

        • andrew says:

          @rhys Ignorance trumps education???

        • Mike says:

          Just got one and it works great.I have opioid induced constipation and it worked well for me so far.

        • Bunga says:

          I made my own. Works well

      • doug says:

        try it you will be very surprised

      • Richard Chandler-Jones says:

        Humans should squat as they’ve done for millenia. It’s the Western world that made us sit. The Squatty marketing machine seems to be the issue you have here.

        • Kevin says:

          I lived in Europe and have visited South America and Asia years ago and had experience in squatting toilets, some no more than a hole in the floor, with some little markers for your feet. I am a bit overweight and don;t have the greatest balance. I had several near catastrophes trying to squat, do the clean up, and then get back up. I will take a toilet any day! What a grand invention! Why not just build lower toilets that gets one closer to a squatting position?

      • Soozn says:

        Have you used one? Your article does not provide any experiential research.
        You would be surprised at the difference being in a more squatting posture helps.
        This item works as claimed!

      • Sanjay says:

        You can just use an upturned bucket and place your feet on it. It is free. Does the same thing as squatty potty.

        • Swampwitch7 says:

          Better anchor the bucket: I believe all benefit would be lost if you heave yourself to your feet only to have the bucket escape at the last moment and dump you back into the squatty potty………

          • RandomSally says:

            The squatty potty is not something you sit on. Your feet go on it.

          • mudguts says:

            What ever happened to just a hole in the floor Guys? Take the toot out and do the holy kangaroo..

            Its not hard to take a toot out..

    • David Phillips says:

      Constipation, would never be vacuous (-;

      • mudguts says:

        Hahaha.. that old windy argument… not enough of it lately..

        Honestly, this is probably one of the most successful skeptoid blogs ever.. Tootsie tupperware has meaning .. quick email your supporters to get onto Brian!

        It’s a conspiracy I tell you!!

    • Lee says:

      I’ve been using a squatty potty clone and my hemorrhoids have largely disappeared. Also my bowel movements generally seem to be easier and less strained. It’s awesome!

      I would definitely recommend it.

  2. Rob says:

    Pseudo-science has long been concerned with bowel movements, colon cleansing, etc… There is a whole sub-genre of myths; ten pounds of indigestion meat rotting in your intestines, etc… It’s an extension of the naturalistic fallacy. If emptying your bowels of waste is healthy, then emptying them “more” must be even healthier.

    It’s interesting how there are so many of these myths revolving around defecation but none (afaik) around urination.

    • wordwizardw says:

      After I had a knee operation, I was given a commode. I was told I should accept that it was adjusted to be lower than I was used to, but that there were good reasons for that. I tried it—It was significantly higher than my regular toilet. I don’t know what was behind THAT. I only needed it briefly, before I was able to get from my bedroom to the toilet in time any way.

      As for urination myths, there are some about the health value of drinking one’s own fresh urine, I believe.

      All beliefs about elimination are vacuous, by definition.

      • 🙂 I had forgotten about the Urine Drinking Myth

      • Squatter says:

        The reason for a taller toilet after knee (or in my case hip) surgery, is to decrease the amount of effort it takes to rise from it, thereby limiting the pressure and resultant pain on your (knee/hip) joint.

        And, as a Squatty Potty user (for about 6 months), I arrived here – browsing this debate- bc, although it seemed to make my trips to the potty shorter… I have hemorrhoids for the first time in my life. So, maybe it helps?Maybe it hinders? Maybe it makes no difference.

    • Aaron says:

      ….But what about all the “Detox” driks on the market that claim to detoxify the body through urine? You can buy them at the liquor store. Miscreants use them to pass drug tests….

      • Noah Dillon says:

        Those mask the presence of drugs in the body by temporarily flushing out the urinary tract. They don’t always work, and when they do it’s only for a few hours. They don’t actually remove anything from the body. They just make urine test cleaner.

      • Tam says:

        Duh . . . Ah yeah it helps ME! I’m not speaking for anyone but myself. This thing has helped ME . . . A LOT, and according to the tons of testimonials its helped a LOT of others as well. Nuff said. It’s wonderful – period.

    • Moker says:

      It’s really absurd – normally smart people even fall for that.

  3. Lisa Clews says:

    My university (in Australia) has a high proportion of students from Asian countries where squat toilets are common. All the toilets on campus are standard Western pedestals. On the back of every cubicle door is a sticker advising users not to try squatting on the rim, “…as the bowl may break and you may hurt yourself.”

    On a regular basis, graffiti starts up which criticises these stickers as racist and dismissive to the superior health benefits of the “natural” squatting position. There is usually a long rant about how many “Western” diseases are caused by the “unnatural” sitting position, and how much healthier we arrogant and foolish Westerners would be if we followed the example of our more enlightened Asian brethren.

    Logic FAIL, fellow students. The stickers say nothing about the relative merits of pooping positions. They only advise that the pedestals are not designed to be squatted on, and to do so may cause property damage and personal injury.

    • wordwizardw says:

      What’s racist is that there are no squat toilets provided for a place which “has a high proportion of students from Asian countries where squat toilets are common.” Why not have at least one cubicle per bathroom with a squat toilet? Then everyone could suit themselves. Or squat, or sit themselves down.

      • Rob says:

        How is it “racist” to ask people to not stand on the facilities (which breaks them because it’s not how they were designed to be used)? Not to mention, how is it “racist” to build toilet facilities in a country in accordance with that country’s cultural norm for toilets? Or are you also accusing Asian countries of being “racist” for not building more European style toilets to accommodate the non-Asians?

        • wordwizardw says:

          Read what I actually said. I said, have some of each, at that institution. The majority of the stalls to suit the majority, and one stall to suit the HIGH PROPORTION of the students who prefer the other way. If a high proportion want it, they should get it, not one size fits all. A high proportion of the people in Asian countries are not European.

          • Kevin says:

            Ridiculous. In the countries where this is common, they would only install toilets in places where they are catering to Western tourists, usually for economic reasons. Folks in other countries laugh at Americans trying to adapt every damn thing to everybody’s lifetstyle, culture, etc. Just as ridiculous as trying to provide a special toilet stall for homosexuals, transgenders, cross dressers, “shemales” and any other exception to the “norm”. We would need so many special facilities and would come the laughing stock of the entire world. I think that providing facilities for disabled is great – and enough! Thank you.

          • Ku says:

            Hello, liberal moron.

          • mudguts says:

            I have no idea how the love for a bit of plastic junk indicates political alliances or preference..

            Mind you.. people who use these as an intended insult probably have issues

      • Anne says:

        What about students who go abroad to experience a different culture? Nothing is wrong with having Western style toilets in a Western country.

  4. Bruno Tonon says:

    Stephen your insight into the “Potty squatty ” has some relevance however IMO looking at the whole picture of the position one could use when going for a “bog” it is mostly is irrelevant.

    Unless you yourself have tried the natural method namely squatting you really have no opinion of how if feels or how much easier it could be when you squat to have a bog. Some things are self evident because all you have to do is try them to see whether they are efficient or not. Of course it does not work for every body, however the natural position of the body when bogging is squatting as in my opinion it is much easier to expel the crap inside you. Your words ” Sitting in any squat-type position while bearing down is likely to increase that intra-abdominal pressure, resulting in a more effortless bowel movement.”

    That ‘s is the discussion in my opinion in a nutshell and that”s not promoted by your so called Scientific peers like yourself who in my opinion do not look at the whole picture but just look for peripheral issues that really don’t have much bearing on the case for squatting.

    • Bruno
      What do you mean?
      “That ‘s is the discussion in my opinion in a nutshell and that”s not promoted by your so called Scientific peers like yourself who in my opinion do not look at the whole picture but just look for peripheral issues that really don’t have much bearing on the case for squatting.”
      This sentence does not make sense.
      Would squatting prevent treat or mollify constipation… Self experimentation and personal experience is profoundly useless to determine efficacy.

      • William J. Portribular III esq. Jr says:

        Up is not up unless someone spoonfeeds me the double blind studies that say it is not down. Same goes for color and shape.

        Reality be damned… Nothing I do in my life can be determined efficient or not efficient until the next paper is published. (But only if the results are postive).

        If only we could traverse time and tell our ancestors they are doing everything wrong….and that they should not try anythin for another 6000 years when we have a healthy dose of skeptoid doctrine to press our shit through. Can you smell it?

        Anyone can use and abuse logic.

      • John Lectroman says:

        I really do get frustrated and tired of pseudo itellectual university fed, AMA controlled “doctors” that are nothing more than spoon fed cd players. The mainstream medical community in Western countries has no clue how the human body works, at this point in time. If a bone is broken, they can mend it…if there is something there they can cut it out….they can even replace damaged organs. However, they have no clue how the bodies systems are integrated, or even admit how energies coorelate to the health of the human body. The AMA makes sure the “symptom-drug” approach is the method of treatment in order to keep the pharmaceutical machine rolling, which is their staple of existence. When you open your mind to ideas other than your spoon fed western money making education, then healing becomes a possibility.

        • I find your post an interesting test study in nonsensical thinking.
          First of all there is no Western medicine. There is testable replicated science based medicine and not that. East vs west is nonsensical thought perpetrated by charlatans when their nonsense is questioned. It is pervasive non sequitur idea, namely that quack ideas are more valuable because the western world was the first to widely apply science based medicine. Since the east uses science based medicine as well whenever and wherever they can, there is truly no western based medicine. The wealthier a nation in the east becomes, the more they drop folk medicine and utilize science based medicine. It is only in the west where modern medical treatment is widely available and people reject it for folk medicine. Science is the only methodology that produces testable reproducible results. It is the only method that reveals the truth of treatments.
          I would point out your being spoon fed propaganda about the Medical Doctors. Common talking points that are factually wrong. For example the AMA controls nothing only a tiny percentage of american physicians are members of the AMA. As a political group they have marginal effectiveness. Medical doctors often become members of their board certifying bodies. For example orthopedic physicians are members of the AAOS, Spine surgeons NASS, as a card carrying member of NASS I will tell you there are never any directives from above telling us what to think or practice.
          There is no “symptom-drug” system. For example amoxicillin is not given to get rid of your sore throat or fever it is to treat the bacterial infection. That is just one example of many cures. One of the most feared drug treatments chemotherapy gives you symptoms, all to cure a terrible disease. You do angioplasty to restore circulation to sections of heart muscle not symptoms. You Plate a broken radius to stabilize it so it can heal. Which brings me to your next wrong point.
          Bones are not mended by physicians, drugs, surgery or whatever. We just re position them so they heal quickly and to maintain normal function. Doctors don’t mend bones you do.
          I’ll Quickly hit your other wrong points.
          “they have no clue how the bodies systems are integrated”- wrong! maybe you dont understand, but we do.
          “or even admit how energies coorelate to the health of the human body”- Ya that’s because energy is capacity to do work, co-opting a sci-ency sounding word to mean magic spirit force does not make it real or useful.
          ” your spoon fed western money making education,” If you you want to argue money making. The billion dollar supplement industry does just fine financially, it is hard to claim that naturopaths, acupuncturists, reflexology et al are doing strictly pro-bono work for the community.
          How can someone who realistically knows nothing about his own talking points be a convincing advocate for Unscientific medicine.
          I don’t begrudge people their silly rituals and witch doctors, I just get angry when they dismiss scientific knowledge as useless because they can’t understand it and don’t want to be bothered learning.
          In my opinion your married to the emotional aspect of medical care one promises the moon and offers you nonsense and magic, the other offers careful methodology, testing and retesting, constant improvement and refinement.
          As soon as you surrender to ideology and magic what you get is witch trials, Heretic trials, bloodletting and quackery, not healing.

          Healing-I don not think that word means what you think it does.

          • Andy Bussey says:

            Stephen Propatier….
            Awesome response!

          • Daniel says:

            That is not exactly True. The AMA has substantial influence over the whole healthcare industry. They are part of the reason for healthcare being so expensive and the quality being so low. http://www.forbes.com/2009/08/25/american-medical-association-opinions-columnists-shikha-dalmia.html#

          • A clearly biased piece that lacks any understanding of how fragmented medicine is…
            Here are several rebuttals
            http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/the-evil-mongering-of-the-ama.660239/
            I think it speaks great volumes that she on one hand denounces the AMA for its support of only highly trained practitioners-NO foreign trained without US training and no Chiropractors-Then turns around and claims that the AMA reduces quality. The opposite of what she just said. Equating numbers of trained physicians with quality of trained physicians which are separate issues.
            My profession is highly denigrated by the AMA and I have no cause to love them, yet public image far outstrips the effect on the profession. None of my associates are members of AMA, and we pay our residents out of our coffers, the federal money for residency programs couldn’t support a fish tank. Congress influence on residency programs is not as big as she would like you to believe.

    • Anne says:

      Having used squat toilets while constipated I have experience. Leaning forward on a western style toilet does the same thing for me. I’m short and a woman so maybe that has something to do with it.

  5. Kate says:

    As someone who was born into a family with generations of genuine bowel and constipation problems, I’m pretty sure there genuinely is a population of people this device would actually help. I have an old step stool in my master bathroom for exactly this purpose. However I have as much trouble generalizing this to the entire population, as I do the idea that gluten is bad for everyone because it helps people with celiac’s disease. If someone has a genuine problem they know it.

  6. Menzo says:

    A natural experiment that could be done on the benefits of elimination position would be to go to those parts of the world with squatting toilets, like the one pictured above, and ask people who use both which they prefer and why. In the middle east, parts of Africa and Asia, westernization is changing the toilets people use. While it is not a randomised trial, it would include a very large number of people and could control for a number of factors such as constipation, ethnic background, poverty, and comfort with modernisation.

    • Walter Clark says:

      Thank you Menzo.
      Best comment here and something that should have dominated the essay above.
      I have only a few days with squatting experience, and in that short of time, I’ve become convinced the third world has it right.
      Oh and position of the legs is not the important thing. It’s how the weight is held in that position. I dunno why.

    • Ruth says:

      I am a Westerner but have traveled extensively in India over a period of years. When there I generally use the squat toilets, even when western style ones are available. I prefer the eastern style. I feel one can do a better job of evacuating the bowels fully.

      • Thats great Ruth personal comfort I am sure plays a role in our perception. Personal experience is the Worst way to determine if something is of any medical benefit. Please see skeptoid podcast for the episode on personal experience as to why that is. 🙂

  7. Rich Murray says:

    I appreciate the very reasonable skepticism… Thanks, Rich Murray

  8. Paul Carter Block says:

    I have been vegetarian for 44 years. What’s “constipation”?

  9. Swampwitch7 says:

    Sounds a lot like a birthing chair developed in a number of “primitive” cultures to facilitate parturition.

  10. Swampwitch7 says:

    And BTW anyone who has engaged in an extended wilderness adventure can tell you which position/location is better: the warm bush or the elevated commode.

    🙂

    • Elyse Andrews says:

      As an avid camper i feel i can comment on this, I still prefer my elevated throne to squatting in the bush as it doesn’t make relieving myself any easier, in fact i find it makes it a great deal more “messy” and there is nothing worse then being in the bush with dags.

  11. theagingfanboy says:

    I thought that the upright seated toilet was better from a public health point of view (the benefits of a “long drop”?). That was the main driver of the design of the modern “European” pedestal toilet.

  12. Ted Willoughby says:

    I lived for a year in a small town in northeastern Thailand. I was in the Air Force and shared a house in town with some friends. We had a squat toilet. It seemed to me that body type was a real factor in your ability to properly use the toilet. One of my housemates was tall and very thin and he said he had no problems with the squat toilet. I have a fairly large lower body and I really hated the squat. I eventually moved to another house that had a european toilet.
    One other thing, Thais assume a squatting position when they are going to talk for a while so using a squat toilet would be a completely natural position.

  13. Phil says:

    Hi fellow Skeptoids, I have owned and used a Squatty Potty now for about 7 years, I love it. From my personal experience I’ve found it to be of great assistance in having bowel movements. Let me tell you a story. Having issues in the area of #2s for many years as a result of the side effects of prescription meds. A good mate of mine mentioned that a Surgeon advised him to use a Squatty Potty during his recovery from a “inguinal hernia”, (google it). Also recommended he continue using one after recovery to prevent further issues. Straining while pooping and after an opp is an aggravation with this type of condition. Being a little sceptical I also researched only a little to find that from an evolutionary point of view it also made sense. We humans evolved squatting to poop, not to sit on a loo as we westerners do in modern times. Which is very very late on our evolutionary time line in the scheme of things. Which made perfect sense to me. With this under my belt (pun intended) also armed with the advise of a University trained Surgeon, reckoned I’d experiment for myself. After only a few trials I found the positioning did make a significant difference. Much less straining involved. Also as another positive side effect assisting with the hypothesis, the use of toilet paper significantly decreased. So what does that tell you?
    So with this one guys, I’m with my Asian cousins. Which reminds me of a holiday I had in Singapore, obviously before my encounters with the Squatty. In my arrogance I commented to my partner that the local toilets where more than a little backwards and inconvenient, putting it politely. In hindsight, it was I that was a little ignorant because of my western (Aussie) cultural conditioning. From my point of view another lessen why we shouldn’t quickly jump to any conclusions without the facts.

    • Kyle N says:

      Look everyone! Anecdotal evidence! We’ve never seen this before!

      • Matt says:

        Trial and error works better than scientific proof sometimes. No need to be sarcastic. This person has tried and and gave a review which is better than the author who just made assumptions without trying it.

        • Noah Dillon says:

          By “trial” do you mean “testing”? Because that’s science. And a user review is not science. For all you know that person is a squatty potty vendor.

          • Phil says:

            Thanks folks for your comments.
            No, I’m not a vendor just a user sharing my personal experience. Like a friend of mind shared with me. Testing/trialling is part of the scientific process a simple fact.
            A two person evaluation doesn’t prove a thing scientifically but it’s an improvement on an opinion.
            Making negative/positive opinionated comments about anything is the most unscientific of all. It unearths a mental condition of prejudice which is more intone which religion than science. Everyone is allowed to have an opinion. Some are more informed than others.

    • Melanisia says:

      You could have saved money and tried just leaning forward for the same angle.

      • Phil says:

        If I needed to save money, yes, I’d have used a foot stool. Pardon the pun.
        Some times ready made in plastic in the right shape is just easier.
        I’m lazy and lucky enough to afford it.
        You can buy them in bamboo if you’re enviromentaly challenged.

  14. ausGeoff says:

    Someone should tell the bloke using the Lillipad (on their site) that he needs to take his trousers off before squeezing one out LOL.

  15. Kyle N says:

    “And surveys of physician visits for constipation have also confirmed this, finding more visits by women, nonwhites, those with lower incomes, and patients with less than 12 years of education.”

    Oh, so that’s why the Squatty Potty is sold primarily in Bed Bath and Beyond, a toy store for affluent, middle-class, mostly white women who have the time and money for yoga classes and who see an acupuncturist weekly.

    (Or am I just biased because I live in Seattle?)

    • Noah Dillon says:

      Nah, perhaps not biased, but it’s easy to get people with disposable income to buy things, even if they’re not likely to be affected by the supposed problem the purchase is intended to correct.

    • Matt says:

      Why don’t you read the actual reviews of people using this thing other than making assumptions based on nothing.

      • Bruno Tonon says:

        As Phil comments
        ” Like a friend of mind shared with me. Testing/trialing is part of the scientific process a simple fact.
        A two person evaluation doesn’t prove a thing scientifically but it’s an improvement on an opinion.
        Making negative/positive opinionated comments about anything is the most unscientific of all. It unearths a mental condition of prejudice which is more intone which religion than science.”

        Interesting how most Skeptoids just give opinions without testing!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Rhys says:

    I just used a small box as a substitute for a squatty potty. I have used it a few times over the last few days, since seeing the squatty potty advert online. Position seems for me, on initial impressions, to make a big difference. I can confirm poo time was reduced as they suggest, and I strained less/it just fell out! Sometimes you need no research, other than real world experience.

    Amusingly, reading the article and comments I can imagine the sentence “Gravity, well until we can explain how it works we should probably treat gravity with skepticisim!”

    Just get a 9 inch high box and go poo, you don’t need to invest £30 unless you like it and think having poop position brought to your attention was worth £30. You don’t need research, if it makes no difference to you, nothing at all is lost. I am going to buy one in a few days, if initial results continue.

    • Denny K says:

      Same experience, here! I grabbed a sturdy, 9inch box from my recent Ebay purchases & used it as a foot-rest when doing the deed. I cannot say whether it helped or not, but it doesn’t seem to make the process much different than ever.

      Think of this product in cat-dog-child terms: You pay Dollars or Pounds for a new toy, show it to the ‘kids’, and then they proceed to play with the shipping box! The last 3 cat beds I’ve bought are still pristine, because the damned cats insist upon sleeping and hiding and almost living in the cardboard boxes.

      Pick out a study, step-sized cardboard box & make your own “squatty” thingy. Whether it helps or not I cannot judge, but at least your effort will be for free – and you retain complete “deniability” over ‘what’s that thing in your bathroom?’ questions. Just tell them you bought some new towels or whatever, not that it’s a device for easier poopification. hehe

  17. Uncle Roy says:

    Who needs to buy a piece of high-margin plastic to do this? Couldn’t I just raise my knees by elevating them on a couple of boxes of old “As Seen On TV!” junk I have collecting dust in my garage?

  18. Arun s says:

    If you’ve ever travelled abroad, it’s at least remotely possible you tripped on one of these. Hopefully not stepped in it for reasons that are obvious.
    I speak of the floor potty such as the one illustrated above. Although the one pictured here is in China, I’ve seen as well as used ones in India many decades ago. They’re commonly seen in rural areas, train stations, on trains especially in third class coaches and elsewhere. On the one side of the vestibule on the coach is a sign designating ‘ European water closet’ (W/C) and opposite that is a sign that reads ‘Indian toilet’. Here’s the trick! You’ll find that once your feet are squarely positioned on their respective ceramic images on either side of said toilet, you’ve reached your ideal squatting position. Gravity now takes over, in fact it rules, so that everything is at its mercy and how shall I say, ” thems a hangin’ good…reeeeeal good! Except, a couple of blasts of the train whistle and now the train and you are in motion.
    Wonder if the Engineer was aware you were just about to toot your own horn. Well, hello and lookout, here goes, oh mercy you can’t help yourself as elimination (to put it mildly) is, oh so effortless.
    Now add the rocking motion to the whole scene and its special, very special indeed.
    Then, as if to steady yourself you instinctively reach for the plumbing steel pipe running up the wall on one side and the grab bar on the other. Now you got the death grip and back in control.
    However don’t make the mistake someone I’m very familiar with did once upon a time. Grabbing the pull chain for the flush, which happened to conveniently extend all the way down, one yank and everything was awash. I mean everything, because it was like someone had played a cruel joke and cut the pipe off at floor level instead of letting it take its gentle curve down the poop/pee trap as intended.
    Clearly that someone must have had their ear to the door and peeled off in side splitting and uncontrollable laughter after hearing the commotion inside the ‘IWC’.
    ‘Poops away, I say Jeeves I must say that was mission accomplished even though the ending was wet’ n wild.

  19. Tam says:

    Question: have you tried this product? You really must if you’re going to write about it. This thing completely changed my life, and I am a huge skeptic about “miracle” products. I have suffered with adhesions and bowel obstructions for over 20 years. I’ve had several hospitalizations and two major surgeries for bowel obstructions. I bought this after a friend sent me info on it after yet another 8 day stay in the hospital. The thing was certainly cheap enough and I had absolutely nothing to lose by trying it. IT WORKED! I never knew the joy of a great BM before and I haven’t had a single bout of obstruction since using it. I have zero constipation, and I void completely on a daily basis with zero exertion. It’s an AMAZING product and I can’t believe I actually lived without it. By the way, I am not affiliated with the company in any way. I’m just a VERY grateful consumer who would like to share the news of this wonderful thing with others who may be suffering with stomach issues.

  20. Marty says:

    I am going to invest in a Squatty Potty, and here’s why.
    As a mid-20 year old living with ulcerative colitis, I spend a lot of time on the loo and usually its uncomfortable or painful. Anything i can do to make it easier would be a huge help. I’ve tied the samurai position which helped a bit but kills the hip, as well as leaning back and putting my feet up on the rim. With that the problem is not only do certain parts aim themselves out of the bowl, but often there isn’t much warning, and leaning back carefully or lining up and balancing boxes (Uncle Roy) isn’t do-able in a hurry.
    I’ll return with my post-purchase perspective once its in use. 🙂

    • Marty says:

      So after a months trial, I’ve found that, for me, it helps things to be more comfortable. Often its an extremely uncomfortable experience, but the Squatty Potty makes things more comfortable for me. Whenever i need to use a bathroom while i’m out and about i do notice how much of a difference it makes. Its convenient and sits out of the way, and doesn’t look untidy, and requires minimal effort to use each time. The plastic construction is thick and sturdy.
      But then, like everyone else’s comments here and the article itself, this is a subjective opinion.

    • Bruno Tonon says:

      Apart from the Squatty Potty you could also have a look at Medical cannabis that also may help your condition. Have a Chat with Brian Wilhelm on facebook https://www.facebook.com/BrianofColorado

      A decent person that cold presses the Cannabis oil to give a quality product at a most reasonable price. It may help as too many people have reported on great results for many conditions. Worth a look since you are looking for alternatives. good Luck!!!

      • Marty says:

        I would definitely give this a go if possible but i live in Australia, and just like Deaf support, our legality on cannabis is about twenty years behind the USA.

      • Wordwizard says:

        I’d try a harmless product with dubious proof before I tried taking stupid pills. Remember (if you can), to “First, do no harm!”

  21. Jamie says:

    I want to buy one just to say thank you for making the most awesome ice cream pooping unicorn commercial of all time!!

  22. Tam says:

    Haaaaaaa . . . Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be writing about such a thing! Seriously though, I’ve had no stomach issues since using the SP. I was hospitalized 3 times this past year for small bowel obstructions due to adhesions and suffered daily severe stomaches. Over the last several years I’ve had 2 surgeries and other hospitalizations. A friend of mine sent me the SP YouTube video as a joke but I thought it made sense. It truly as changed my perception of the importance of thorough elimination. The toilet is a poorly designed device and we’re all “going” completely wrong. Who knew? Best of luck everyone and happy pooping!!!!!!

  23. Susan says:

    Oh please. The same ‘magical’ angle can be achieved by simply leaning forward, which is what I have always done. Your puborectalis doesn’t know the difference between raising your knees and lowering your chest, in fact one could argue that a straighter angle is achieved in the configuration of the rectum and the puborectus, by leaning forward. See that graphic at the top of this page that says ‘Reap the Rewards’? Yeah. The only ones doing any reaping in this scenario are the folks at Squatty Potty. We Americans are so stupid.

    • Derek says:

      Defecation is much more effective when your spine is straight. When nurses tell older people to bend over to combat incontinence, they are doing much more harm than good. At least this is what I have learned from my medical school anatomy class. So using a squatty potty would be significantly more effective than simply bending over. Otherwise, this product would not be so successful. So there is no need to be so cynical about Americans.

      • Really? in my medical school anatomy class the cadavers were supine, not sure how that helped you determine forward flexing isn’t helpful for incontinence. Additionally I don’t know what nurses are recommending leaning forward to prevent incontinence but they need some education. Finally you learned as I did that your intestines are suspended in abdominal cavity and only a simplistic view of anatomy would make us believe that a change in hip flexion has a large effect on colonic peristalsis or abdominal space other than increasing the intra-abdominal pressure for valsalva. I am sure that is obvious and you were just being flippant.

    • Charles says:

      I’ve tried leaning forward and it is marginally better but not really that comfortable. I was recently gifted a squatty potty, and it is significantly more comfortable. I dislike pooping at work now because of this. Granted, I suffer from hemorrhoids and have always had a slow time in the bathroom. I imagine the benefits would be much less obvious to people who have an easy time in the bathroom.

  24. Luis C. says:

    Skeptical much? I was diagnosed with left sided ulcerative colitis in May of this year. Irritable bowel syndrome is one of the symptoms of this disease. So I visit the bathroom more than 15 times a day. No exaggeration. I starting using the squatty potty a week ago and the results are significant. I can honestly say that i am feeling less pain and pressure when moving my bowels. That’s enough for me to promote this thing. It helps…no matter which way you look at it. Period.

    • Noah Dillon says:

      You think it helps you. That’s what that story means. It may or may not be effective for lots of people, but your story doesn’t mean “it helps…no matter which way you look at it.” I found a penny and my headache went away. That doesn’t mean pennies help headaches.

  25. Kris says:

    The proof is in the..um..pudding.

    i.e. It works wonders for me.

  26. Tara says:

    Love mine. It is custom made just for me.

  27. mr says:

    Reading this while on (literally too) day to of my new squatty potty.
    I bought it because of the experiences I’ve had camping and squatting in the woods. Although it’s not the most fun part of camping, it always works so well. I bought the potty after seeing the crazy good reviews on Amazon and it’s true…this thing works.

  28. Andr says:

    Decent article, but you make very tenuous links between bowel cleansing/colonoscopy and the bowel movement. It doesn’t seem that Squatty Potty claim anything regarding cleansing or detoxification, and to lump that in with claims about improved bowel movements is actually somewhat disingenuous.

    Your point about the health impact of improved bowel movements is well taken, however the quality of life improvements, which can only ever be a qualitative assessment, will be clear to some. Seriously, feeling fully evacuated when going to take a dump, and having said dump taking no effort and no longer than a minute is pretty great. Doing this regularly would certainly be beneficial to my own state of mind

    That being said, the lack of substantiated research you highlight around toilet position in general is interesting, and it’s a shame that a company can’t be upfront as to the limited scope of scientific research and the somewhat experimental basis for the product

    • Andr
      I agree with what you said its really other sellers whom claim the detoxification benefits. They do imply however that normal position is a component of colon cancer which is completely unsupported. Not directly spelled out but is part of the whole colon detoxification mythos.
      The detoxification myth is a separate issue reviewed many times over as physiologically simplistic and naive.

  29. Stephen Poopeater says:

    You are all stupid f***s. If it feels good do-it. If it makes sense do-it. S**t how you want and who the f**k cares about your a*****e, not me.

    • Noah Dillon says:

      That’s why I always say, like the wise GG Allin: Legalize murder. Nothing really matters, as long as you get to do the things that make you feel good.

  30. Barb Heatet says:

    I’ve been constipated since I was a child. I went thru so much pain all my life and even had to leave work several times because I was so miserable. If I don’t go frequently, my stomach bloats and often I have extreme gas pains. Last nite I had extreme gas and my stomach actually moved up and down, over & around. Just like having a baby moving in your stomach. And this happens often. I now take 2 medicines and a stool softener daily!!! So I usually go now but I got the squatty potty to help. It helps me eliminate more. I wouldn’t be without it. I’m 69 and have artificial knees. There’s no way I could squat on or near the floor. Physically impossible to get down and also up. Just not possible. I bought one, my neighbors have one and I’m buying my daughter one soon. So folks, go ahead and get one. It was certainly worth $25 to me and others!!!!

  31. Kathy says:

    As a child, I used an outhouse when visiting certain relatives. Can someone explain why the seat in the outhouse was so high? There was still a “long drop” that someone mentioned. And, people were fitter, with a shorter life expectancy in those days, eliminating the need for elevated seats. Did it only seem that the seat was high because I was very young?

    Also, “Rabbit”, in my dorm at college, advised a group of us to put our feet on the rim when having trouble eliminating. I have done that for 50 years, and always found it to work great.

  32. Jamison Hatfield the second says:

    Your type is easy to spot from not a mile, but 20 miles away.
    You tear down anything that would undermine the medical establishment’s possibility of making “MONEY.”
    So, official ‘Science,’ as you call it, tries to define what is and what can’t be ‘science.’ Then everyone else is out there somewhere and not on the wagon.
    Well, data, as you suppose is not just what you allow in your club. We don’t want to be in your club.
    We, the world, doesn’t want to be like you when we ‘grow up,’ as you might think.
    So, go stand in front of the mirror and listen to yourself. That’s about as many people as listen to you.

    Now, when people do random experimentation, with no bias in mind, and come up with consistent results, that please them, and seem to solve problems—that, my friend is data. I don’t care, nor does the rest of the world, what you define as data—any results must be included, whether in a lab or not.
    Why? Why, do you ask.
    Because, ….when things are really used, and employed in the “Real World,” they are not used
    IN A LAB.
    Are they? NO! So, again, I say…go look in the mirror and talk to yourself. You are the only one listening to YOUR OPINION.

    So, chiropractic works, squatty potties work. Natural food works. Fasting works. Exercise works…not because it worked in some isolated, detached lab, that has no relational connection to the real environment that most, 80-99% of people live in, but because the opposite is true.
    Love, a reader and thinker that you can’t fool. Ha ha ha

  33. Mari says:

    I’m on the squatty potty now and after immediate success I wanted to Google and find out what others are saying as this one is my mom’s and I want one too. This article suggest it’s just marketing bull? Nope things lined right up and it was way easier to pass hard to pass “stuff” lol

  34. Cate says:

    It makes medical common sense. Practice makes perfect. You would be surprised.

  35. Just A Thought says:

    I have used this position long before the squatty potty and it definitely helps, but I use a $3 plastic step stool from dollar General.

  36. Henk Bak says:

    Re: Skeptic rule I “The plural of anecdote is not data.”
    Data is not experience, plural of anecdote is.
    Experience means a lot.
    Of course do homeopathy, chiropractic, orthobionomy, etc etc work. Data don’t!

  37. Paul poop says:

    Clickbait title that doesnt match article (overall verdict was ” meh” not “beware”). Good points about marketing bs. Standard falacy that parrotting “statistics” makes ones opinion more Scientific. No, this piece of plastic wont make you not “non white” or “low income” which apparently have bearring on rectal health. It will also not make you not elderly, so the author cant see the point in buying it, despite grudgingly admitting it lessens strain in defecation, which by the way is the primary cause of hemmroids which effect millions of people un the us alone. My first and last visit to this site. Truly seems to be buzzfeed for the psuedo intellectuals.

  38. mudguts says:

    I am dead sure I could calculate the cost of a high roughage breakfast over the irritation that object would generate in our bathrooms.

    I think I would have a broken toe kicking the damn thing at first sight.

  39. Laura Hayes says:

    I’m 8 months pregnant with my second child and I am so thankful for the squatty potty! I thought it was ridiculous when my parents bought us each one for Christmas but it has truly helped so much! I have always been retentive and developed hemorroids at a young age and suffered constipation issues. My first pregnancy made these issues worse. There were numerous instances of bleeding. This pregnancy, using the squatty potty, I’ve had much easier bowel movements, my hemorrhoids aren’t near so bad and I’ve only had two instances of mild bleeding, and I’ve had to take iron supplements for anemia this go around which usually makes constipation worse. Whatever the marketing claim fallacies or whatever, this product works great for me and I’d advocate it’s use for anyone!

  40. Irish Shave says:

    I purchased the original squatty potty. I can’t squeeze a turd when I’m using it. It’s like my bowel gets clogged.

    BTW. My friend from Russia told me that in Russia many toilets are not like traditional western ones, but that no one squats like in the pictures. They just bend a little, bend the knees, and stick out the anus far enough to not drop the corndog inside the pants.

    This whole squatty potty myth is for suckers like myself, who will buy any junk from TV that Dr. Oz will j**z to. Share about your squatty potty on Facebook.

  41. Joca says:

    «The Squatty Potty marketing gives the false impression that better bowel movements equates with better health.»
    «There is no real evidence that better bowel movements equate with better health. (…) Your colon is not the center of healthy living, and consequently cleansing is of marginal health benefit.»

    Sorry to disagree, but everyone’s personal experience shows that it is much better to have daily and full bowel movements than to be constipated. Chronic constipation can be an agonizing experience.

    • Not really a disagreement Joca.
      Your statement is rather a false dichotomy and an anecdote. Personal experiences are unreliable and there is no evidence that “daily Full bowel movement”(Whatever that is) is the only outcome for healthy person. Yes chronic constipation is a medical condition that should be explored and is bad. Your leaving out the unsaid middle of your dichotomy. That having a varying period of bowel movements or varying size is abnormal or unhealthy. The statement you either have a full bowel movement or chronic constipation is making this a choice of one or the other. Both being unrealistic standards for normal bowel function. It also says nothing about evidence indicating Bowel movements have a dosage response curve to health, namely-more=better health. Which is patently untrue.

  42. Zundfolge says:

    Regardless of whether the Squatty Potty works or not, there is no need to actually buy one as the same position can be achieved by simply leaning forward and putting your elbows on your knees and relaxing your upper torso. The other advantage to this is that you get the “benefits” for free and on any toilet, not just your own.

  43. Natural Pooper says:

    I’ve been suffering for constipation for many years, until I started to poop while squatting. I’ve had moments in my life with almost no bowel movements for 2 or 3 weeks and when in desperation I finally decide to squat – the ‘miracle’ happens. This is tested, it’s verified by me personally. So for me, squatting really is THE best way to poop.

    However… Looking by the picture of the ‘Squatty Potty’ it seems it’s not a full squat! I’ve tried pooping on a normal ‘western’ toilet seat with something under my feet to raise them similarly the way Squatty Potty is doing. It’s beneficial, but REAL squatting can not be beaten by this! Real squatting means the full weight of the body is on the legs, not on the butt! This way the hips naturally press the colon and induce much easier defecation.

    So my opinion (without having tested the Squatty Potty) is that Squatty Potty is helpful, but the real squatting position is what reallly greatly improves bowel operation! And you don’t need to buy a special ‘product’ to poop the right way. When feel the earliest symptoms of constipation, I get a large bowl, fill it with an inch of water and then just squat. It works!!! I’m now planning to change the toilet seat with a traditional squatting toilet which was in use for thousands of years before the toilet throne was invented.

  44. Rohit says:

    Everything in my following comment is anecdotal, from my own experience. I’m an Indian and squat toilets are quite common here. I’ve used throne toilets almost all my life and during my teenage years, I often had a complaint that I never fully felt like I went even if I had been to the toilet. I started lofting weight a couple of years ago and thought it would be a good idea to switch to squat toilets so I can hit two birds with one stone and practice squatting while at the loo. Since then, I stopped having my supposedly recurrent digestion problems and every time I went to the loo, my bowels felt sufficiently emptied. I don’t know about the products mentioned here but squatting to poop is definitely the way to go.

  45. Brad says:

    I’ve only had it for a day so can’t really evaluate objectively. Speaking of “objectively” though, I have noticed that people that shell out money for a purchase typically have a vested interest in believing that the item they purchased has value. Otherwise…well, that makes them appear foolish. So one has to consider this psychological aspect when reading some of these rave reviews about how well it works.

    Maybe it does for some. I’ll have my own experience to judge in several weeks. But I wanted to make this point as I know psychological research bares it out…there’s even a syndrome for it although I forget its name.

    • Zman says:

      how’s your squatty potty going for you?

      • Brad says:

        Well, it’s been a couple of weeks and I haven’t exactly used it consistently (old habits die hard). I can say though that I do seem to evacuate more fully using the squatty potty.

        I had to go on antibiotics a few months ago and that has seriously messed with my elimination habits. I’m taking probiotics but it’s taking a long time to return to normal.

        To be honest, I can’t say for certain that it’s helping but it’s definitely not hurting. It’s a subjective thing so hard to say. Not sure I’d be recommending this to folks just yet. I need another month or two before I can offer a full judgment.

  46. Natural pooper says:

    If it helps you to poop when you squat, then this is a great product. If you have no problem going to the bathroom on a toilette, then it’s not gonna do much for you. Easy as that.

    Personally I have a troubled IBS stomach which makes me constipated no matter what diet or exercise I try. Which then sometimes gives me haemorrhoids, which are worsened more by the constipation, making it a vicious, painful circle. I have always found that when I’m out walking in the forest and I need to relieve myself, it seems to be most advantageous to squat rather than sitting on a toilette at home. It just flows more naturally for me in that position, eliminating all need to strain or excessive pressure/discomfort.

    If you want to know is this is a product for you, just go out in the forest/woods/any secluded area in nature and squat it good and feel if there’s a difference to the better.
    If not, you don’t need it.
    If it is, then get one.

    But personally I’d get a cheaper one or maybe get any foot stool of adequate hight and form (like I have done).

    • Natural pooper says:

      Edit: I don’t try to say that it directly helps me with my constipation, for example in making the episodes themselves less frequent. Because it probably don’t, at least not in any difference that I have noticed. But when I have my troubles, it most definitely helps me to relieve myself easier and less painfully. And making the haemorrhoids fewer, smaller and heal quicker. That I do personally claim for me and my body.

  47. Arun s says:

    For over a century ‘natural elimination’ has been practiced in many areas around the world. A couple of examples, as has been pointed out here as well are China and India.
    All of a sudden now, in the US and the Western Hemisphere everyone wants to ” jump on the potty” so to speak. Both literally and figuratively. Then, along came ‘squatty potty’ (pitched on Shark Tank) and since then I now hear the name ‘step N go’. I’m going to come up w/ one called ‘ stay anchored’ & sail smooth’ (c)or something like that.
    On one trip to South Asia I noticed floor model toilets and used one. Upon entering into a discussion w/ strangers who had one thing in common it dawned on me what Dad once said.
    He told me that he at times sat atop the toilet to promote ease of elimination. In fact he recommended it. Let me tell you first, your knees for one take unkindly to hyper extension. It also takes uncanny balance so a grab bar would help. It’s one place, where if you hit the floor you’re highly unlikely to get outside help. Basically you’re on your own…uh, don’t grab the toilet.
    Anyway some people prefer to go in the woods while camping (look out for the Bears) rather than the porta potty type of outhouse (large pesky bottle fly included). Use at your own risk because your family may reject you as an ‘outhouse outcast’ or something akin. I’d rather be embraced as a hero for surviving a bear attack while adorning the woods. Actually a carry-along port-potty w/step stool would be the preferred alt. since it allows cleaner disposal, virtue of sealed bio degradable, durable polyurethane bag. My step stool has a bungee strap to ward of an attacker. It always comes back with bear fur, once launched similar to a boomerang with a minimum of skill required. Oh be sure to spray it with stickkky after every use/cleansing. Once successful if you run across that bear which should be easier to spot apart from its siblings, because of that bald spot. He is very likely to recognize you as well provided he approaches from familiar angle.
    Anyhow, ease of elimination is possible using a stool since it relaxes the “puborectalis muscle” causing it to relax from its normally kinked state. That’s the state that prevents accidental elimination and actually facilitates continence as opposed to incontinence. Wow, Eurika!

  48. Tim says:

    I got one of these and it was pretty good. I had issues going and it certainly made that easier. It’s the position that you are in it just somehow makes you eliminate more waste. Mine is called the sit n squat toilet stool and I got it at http://www.moderntoilet.com.au

  49. mudguts says:

    Brian.. has it reached “Morgellonsic” proportion of anecdote yet?

  50. Ann says:

    I laughed at the ads on People’s Pharmacy. I made fun of my husband for buying one. Then I tried it; there was a noticeable difference. Never mind the constipation arguments. Less straining helps protect your pelvic organs from prolapse. I’m thinking about buying some for Christmas gifts.

  51. Stephanie Knol says:

    It’s clear that squatting is the natural human posture for defecation. So deviating from that most normal position would most likely create problems. Posture and position and movement related problems are huge in western society. Unfortunately there is not much money in researching things like “positioning”, so there may never be lots of research to back it up. Just think about it though, and the squatty potty makes so much sense. Try it before you decide to let your skepticism override a potential experience. A good review would include real people’s experiences. Whether or not there is evidence backing up claims that proper elimination is important for health, people want to have good poops or they don’t feel good. And don’t think for a minute that constipated folks will somehow stop looking for solutions to their constipation because they improved their pooping posture. I mean, really? People might miss serious problems because they are using the squatty potty to poop in a more normal posture? It’s like saying that people who sleep lying down might not notice their insomnia if they stop sleeping in chairs. Either sleeping lying down improves their sleep or it doesn’t. Both ways they have learned something.

    • Mudguts says:

      You know.. you could have added background music to a testimonial like that. the fact that some of it was just license didnt get missed..

  52. L Ambrose says:

    As a sufferer of cystocle and rectocele after a protracted labor and delivery of my daughter 15 yeras ago, the squatting position is more productive, less painful, and lessens the risk of either vaginal or rectal prolapse. I see of lot of men disparaging this product, but I can certainly say post-childbirth women should look into this product. It was recommended by my urogenital specialist.

  53. Danny Rost says:

    I would be in big trouble had I not evacuated in the full squat position for the past thirty years.
    The Squatty Potty is for selling, not for using!

    Another good reason for squatting is to exercise the knees, as they should be.
    One doesn’t see too many knee replacements in countries where it is customary to squat.
    To refute what is natural is simply daft.

    • Hi Danny
      Interesting claims. What big trouble?
      As an orthopedist that specializes in reconstructive knee surgery I will tell you that your statement is false about knee replacements. The factors that affect a populations total joint replacement is well known but nationality does not correlate except in economic terms. Female twice the rate of men given same race, age, work and body weight. Professions that require regular squatting such as mason, flooring, plumbing and electrical have higher rates of joint replacement not less. There is a negative correlation in athletics that require a lot of squatting. Such as a college/minor league/professional- baseball catcher has an 8 times higher probability of TKA than a pitcher or outfielder.
      Body mortise(weight) has the highest non-genetic correlation. No surprisingly western countries have higher rates of obesity than most nations/cultures that generally squat to go.
      It is a false premise to say that squatting to go is in any way a type of exercise unless your suffering from cholera.
      Basically squatting=exercise=fewer knee replacements is fantasy not reality.
      Nature more often than not, wants to kill you, not help you. Uranium, lead, arsenic, botulin toxin, malaria,influenza A, flesh eating strep A, tuberculosis, crocodiles, bears, Ricin, box jelly fish- All will kill you! All are 100% natural! Saying something is natural therefore it better is marketing nonsense.

  54. Anne says:

    I want to add my anecdote. I’ve used the squatty potty, a custom made stool that allowed for a full range squat, a regular stool, and no stool (i.e. a regular western toilet). When I had constipation from medication, none of those things made a difference, not at all. It didn’t make anything easier. Conversely, when I’m not constipated, I’ve also tried all those different set-ups. I noticed no difference in pooping ease (as in all were fine). So, yes, I’ve tried it and color me unimpressed.

    • Noah Dillon says:

      Can’t tell if you keep using the word “stool” as a pun or not.

    • Bruno Tonini says:

      Anne it did not work for you. I get that but no one has claimed it works for everyone. There is no product in the world that works for everyone, and you must know that since you are aware of what medications do to your body.
      Just a thought though , when you visit your Doctor I am sure on occasions he has given you medications that did not work for you???? Yes or NO ????
      So does that mean that all the medications you have been given that did not work for you were created in an pseudo scientific manner in the same way that some people are arguing on this web site that the potty stool is also pseudo science????

      Anne you cannot have your cake and eat it ????

  55. Squat or u die says:

    If you dont like to squat then dont all i can say is i dont need squatty potty or a box i just squat literally on the side of the bowl it works for me and i got tons of poop every f*****g day of my life why step on it if you ask me rather than sitting on the bowl god knows how many bacteria and germs will stick on your a**e i rather step on it atleast i can easlt clean feet

  56. Mytwocents says:

    After using for one week I am having horrible pain on my right knee 🙁 I’m going to stop using on my one knee and see if it makes a difference

    • Nam says:

      I also am having horrible pain in my right knee after using it. Have you had pain since stopping use? Do you know exactly what the diagnosis was concerning your knee? I’ve never had knee pain like this before!

  57. Kay Pearson says:

    My boyfriend has been doing the squatters potty method for years and I was like whatever….. Till one day I put the bathroom trash can in front me and put my feet on it and everything just slid out, so I did it the next day and the next to see if same results and haven’t stopped using the trash can! It works and does seem to make the whole digestive tract feel better. A little uncomfortable at first and may take some getting used to, but I highly recommend – from someone who was definitely skeptical!

  58. Robert Brockway says:

    “The website lists several research papers supporting their position:”

    I see what you did there.

  59. Tammy says:

    I didn’t waste money on the squatting potty, I just use a footsteps I already had. I go 3-4 times a day, so I don’t struggle with constipation. BUT, I can tell you, thAt I started using a stool when my daughter sang the praises of squatting potty though she too uses stool instead of marketed device. I had hoped that it would help me get it all out at once instead of having to make all those trips.

    What happened was that though it did not prevent my frequency, I certainly get a lot more out each time, AND, alright I’ll say It…. it feels so good. Hardly anymore struggling, and now I tell everyone about the concept. It feels really really good. I know I said it already, but it’s worth repeating. Try it, what’s it gonna hurt? No need to buy, just use something else, or even hold your knees up and hug them close to you while on the pot. I’ve done that too. It’s not as comfortable, but it still works. That move takes a bit of adjusting to though.

    • mudguts says:

      I am so glad I bought a bungee chord and a garden hose back in the late 80’s.

      When I jump out of that oak tree.. everyone poops themselves

    • Thats great Tammy I don’t think there is any problem using the potty and if you squat there is no harm. It is just a feel good device. Don’t fool yourselves, any health claims or subjective anecdotes stating less constipation and/or more complete evacuation has no basis in fact. It is someones personal opinion about a subjective experience. Humans are pathologically wrong determine the success or failure of medical treatment. IE exorcism, witch trials, blood letting, voodoo, homeopathy, grounding, pickle juice, essential oils- the list goes on. Rule of thumb-if someone is telling you that anything works and that is based upon personal experience, plus that is the only evidence that it works, you have good reason to be skeptical. That said if you dump the WOO claims about health benefits and you like squatting to go. Have a blast there is no harm. 🙂

  60. Charlotte says:

    Who ever wrote this obviously has never had serious Hemorroids ! And untill they do won’t understand what a serious condition Hemorroids are to physical and mental health! Perhaps the claims the company make to better health are directed at Hemorrhoids in particular? Using a squting position has drastically improved my own Hemorrhoids and I am certain that if I had adapted a squating position earlier on in life I would never have had Hemorrhoids.

    • Hi Charlotte
      Truth is that what you are saying might be true, but you can’t really say that. Suspicion and anecdote are not ways to determine if something helps. Despite what you may see as an obvious outcome the SP may in fact compress the venous return and worsen Hemorrhoids. You don’t know and neither do I but we can’t just guess. If your making health claims you can get into trouble rapidly by assuming that a superficial knowledge of anatomy and physiology plus personal experience is equivalent to scientific evaluation.

      • g-dubious says:

        If the standard of proof required to qualify as a sound “scientific” claim is a randomized control trial with thousands of participants, then probably we will never know “the truth” about squatty potties. I agree with your larger point, of course, that uncritical acceptance of hearsay and anecdote is no substitute for a proper scientific study. But it’s a mistake to dismiss anecdote completely. Does it rise to the level of a RCT? No. But it is evidence, of a sort.

        If we were to hold medical professionals to the same standard you’re applying here, most general practitioners would not be allowed to say half the things they tell you about many common ailments. That includes the notion that constipation and straining cause hemorrhoids, since this has never been firmly established by a randomized control trial. By your reasoning, WebMD should remove this putative cause from its website, since it hasn’t been proved. At best, it’s a very plausible hypothesis for why they form, but nobody really knows for sure.

        But then, what should doctors say? Should they refrain from advising their patients to adopt a high fiber diet and avoid straining?

        I’m not going to advocate for the squatty potty. In my own experience, it makes elimination faster and easier (I’ve measured the average times, and there does seem to be a difference). But that’s just my experience. It may not generalize. If, as you suggest, it might be making my hemorrhoids worse, then frankly I don’t know what to do. I guess I’m just screwed. It seems implausible to me that they could actually get worse — if venous return is obstructed, it’s only very briefly, surely — but I suppose it’s possible.

        The only thing I can cling to in the absence of a randomized controlled trial is the fact that people have been squatting for centuries. If squatting were a strong risk factor for developing hemorrhoids, then we would expect to see a higher incidence of hemorrhoids in populations that adopt the squatting posture. Except we don’t (or at least, that’s the claim — I have yet to see a solid reference on this!) There is one big confounding factor here, though, and that is diet. My own unproved suspicion is that diet plays a larger role than elimination posture, and the Western diet, which also happens to be associated with a sitting posture, is generally pretty low in fiber.

        Which is all to say, the claims may indeed be overblown (and indeed probably are), but it’s not like they’re outright pseudoscience. The insistence on such high standards of evidence is laudable, but would likely disqualify most of the things GPs tell their patients about many common ailments (hemorrhoids, back pain, dyspepsia, even heart disease to some degree). Shouldn’t we hold doctors to the same standards of evidence?

        • Here is the problem G
          While anecdotes — when true, at least — are nice illustrative stories, they do not constitute evidence. This is because anecdotes only ever apply to individuals or individual experiences and are subject to the biases that this brings with it. It is impossible to say that an individual anecdote is representative and it is also impossible to actually detect the real cause of the anecdote.
          For instance, with life-saving medical treatments (say, pills that reduce heart-disease and subsequently lower the death rate), there are some deaths that occur whether or not the medication was taken. Therefore, if someone who is on the medication dies, you cannot tell if they would have died anyway without it — you can’t prove that the medical intervention worked, or not, from the one case study.
          It is very rare for an intervention to be, by itself, a sufficient cause of something. Rather, they tend to change the probability of a given event occurring. This means, obviously, that one can cherry pick examples that show something does or does not work, regardless of what effect it actually has. For instance, if the municipal government of some city enacts a law to reduce crime, one can find anecdotes “demonstrating” the exact opposite of the law’s actual effect, whatever it may be. If it’s effective: “Before the law I never had any problems with crime, but since its enactment I’ve been mugged once and had my house burglarized! This law is useless!” If it’s not: “Before the law, I was robbed twice, but ever since the law, I haven’t been robbed once! It must be working!”
          Ultimately, anecdotal evidence is very prone to false positives.
          So anecdotes no matter how many you have don’t constitute evidence… There isn’t even good evidence that the theory behind the SP holds any water. Popularity hardly denotes effective. Pointing at a Sp and saying it is plausible discounts the myriad of factors that play a role in frequency and quality of stooling. Diet, age, sex, weight, height, activity level, abdominal dimensions, medications, congenital factors. There are people who have commented here and other places that the SP made it tougher for them to stool.
          Simply put name the approved medical treatment that has all those variable unknown and equal plausibility, and only has anecdotal evidence. I can’t think of one!
          Objecting that medicine only will be used if they have perfect evidence is the fallacy of the excluded middle and irrelevant to the effectiveness of the SP. SP is not the middle it is the far end of pseudoscience.

          • g-dubious says:

            You are using a far narrower definition of “evidence” than even most working scientists or philosophers (or lawyers) use. It is, of course, correct to point out that anecdotal evidence is subject to various cognitive biases — that it’s easy for us to fool ourselves — and this is a very large part of why we perform controlled experiments in the first place. But to say categorically that anecdotes, or a collection of anecdotes, can never constitute evidence in support of a hypothesis, is simply incorrect. It may or may not be very strong evidence, but it is evidence.

            My experience of scientific research is, very often one encounters an anomaly, or reports of an anomaly — an anecdote, essentially — that leads to a flurry of speculation about potential hypotheses, and then further systematic investigation. One example of this is solitons, which were observed very rarely and sporadically in nature before anyone knew how to produce them in a lab, or discovered the mechanism by which they arise in nonlinear dissipative systems.

            You’ve elsewhere stated that anecdotes, because they are unreliable and subjective, must perforce be dismissed. But that is just too categorical to be true. If I’m the mayor, and a hundred people came into my office complaining that they smelled gas in a particular part of town, I’d be a fool to dismiss their claims as “anecdotal”. In fact, I’d be well advised to investigate these anecdotes further, lest I be slapped with a lawsuit in the event of an explosion. A hundred people coming into my office reporting the same subjective experience is evidence of something — it supports the hypothesis that there is a gas leak somewhere. It is not “pseudoscience”.

            Pseudoscience is when someone describes an experience in support of a hypothesis that is unfalsifiable. For example, there is no experiment you could possibly devise, even in principle, to test whether or not your friend saw a ghost. Such a claim is entirely distinct from the kinds of subjective reports people make regarding the efficacy (or not) of the Squatty Potty, which are in principle testable. It is all well and good to point out that the claims being made are dubious or unsupported, but quite another to call them “pseudoscience”. This usage is not the way most working scientists would understand the term.

            And then there are claims that probably can’t be verified *except* through subjective reports. For example, I’ve talked to a lot of people about the relative effectiveness of ibuprofen and tylenol. Most people I’ve talked to agree with me that ibuprofen works very well to relieve pain, and tylenol somewhat less so. I can certainly attest that ibuprofen is extremely effective from personal experience. I’m not inclined to dismiss this data just because it is anecdotal. A more careful study would still have to rely on subjective reports, but that would not necessarily disqualify it as science.

            You seem to be arguing for a kind of return to positivism, where beliefs only have justification in an extremely narrow sense. Even people in the hard sciences have largely given up that stance.

            As regards the SP, a quick Google search does reveal a small scientific literature that appears to support the claim that squatting improves outcomes for people with hemorrhoids. Granted, the samples are small, and the number of studies is few, but not zero. It’s not like there’s no experimental evidence whatsoever for the benefits of squatting. But I’m not going to say the evidence is anywhere near as strong as it is for, say, the germ theory!

            As for the fallacy of the excluded middle — I’m not meaning to create a false dichotomy here, quite the opposite. My statement about doctors was intended to be ironic. In fact my point is quite the opposite — we all make decisions on the basis of all kinds of evidence, some of it weak, some of it strong. I’m saying there’s a continuous gradation of evidence, not a black and white binary, and that medical professionals have long been used to that. And anecdotes, however imperfect and biased they may be, are a part of that.

            As for whether there is an approved medical treatment that is plausible but subject to all sorts of complex variables, and for which there is only anecdotal evidence: flossing. I’ve been told over and over again that flossing prevents periodontal disease, only to discover years later that there has never been a randomized controlled trial to test this assertion. I still floss anyway. Maybe I’m a fool for doing so.

          • G we keep re treading the same tired pseudoscience talking points. Anecdote and index studies are worthless except as starting points. Before you start making health claims you have to do more than than that. Add in arguments from antiquity and popularity No replication and no increasing rigor(again doesn’t have to be perfect), then rush to use with supporting evidence of personal claims only. That is unequivocally a pattern you see in treatments that are worthless. If you want my support do the research before you market. The Hemmeroid studies are just formalized anecdote tiny sample size no blinding more anecdote! Your still arguing that that treatments are commonly used in medicine without them. Flossing is not a medical treatment. Also a common pseudoscience argument that is nonsensical. It doesn’t matter if other things in use have flaws it says nothing about the efficacy of SP claims. Your just trying to argue that medicine has flaws therefore my crap(pun intended)idea has merit. Add in the simplistic and nonsensical theory’s about underlying mechanisms. Its a simple equasion ask the question why not do better research? If you can prove its better than the toilet. You can get every hospital in the country to buy them for the recovery room the floor ect. You stop at just enough so you can make the oft marketing claim that is worthless. “4 out 5 dentists surveyed use trident” or whatever. Just enough to market without lying. Sorry that doesn’t constitute evidence. Anecdotes are only helpful to suggest looking at something. I stick by my claims that if you involve anecdotes about personal experience specifically with subjective claims what you have is a guaranteed positive. We call that a placebo and I don’t recommend expensive plastic placebos.

          • Bruno Tonini says:

            Stephen its more that a nice illustrative story its a true perceptive experience that has happened to one person or many persons at a particular time.
            Does it work for every one not really since we are all so complex and so many anomalies to consider. How many times have you heard your Doctor say “Here take this and if it does not work I will give you something else”
            Does that mean that the pharmaceuticals supposedly rigoursly tested in Double Blind trials were false????
            No but in this case did not work for that particular person.
            Therefore reality dictates what works in the objective world and not logic. Logic follows action in reality by then possibly explaining how and why it happened considering all the forces and actions that took place.

            To make sense of the discussion it is reality , the experience that tells us what works or not for that person at that particular time.

            No one to my knowledge here has claimed the Squat works for every one but that it works for many people and yet you keep denigrating all the people who have had some success using it !!!!
            If you are going to follow this line then you have to clean your own so called scientific house with all the anomalies that occur using your pharmaceuticals.
            Even though they may have been tested in double blind Trials and statistically numbered , the reality is they do not work for everyone!!!!!!
            In fact often they harm people , and the deaths due to iatrogenic disease is appalling!!!!!
            You seem to conveniently forget that!!!! After all you work for those Establishments, and you also have to eat!!!!!!

          • Tinkerbell says:

            I think your comments about science are lost on the commenters here because not one of them claimed the SP, squatting, using a atoll, etc., made them more healthy. They all said that it made it easier to go, giving the, a better quality of life. They don’t seem to care about the outrageous claims made by th SP marketing.
            The question is, are anacdotes ok when someone is not selling woo?

          • mudguts says:

            so? Most of the dingbats here are dingbats who feel the need to have an altie position regardless of the science

          • Bruno Tonon says:

            Mudguts you are full of it and basically as always floating in the mud with nowhere to go except smart arse comments.
            I can see from all your comments that you don’t have the guts to stand on your own 2 feet but totally rely on the ” unseen mob” which you claim to be Science. Is that why you have chosen your name so aptly???

            Individuals that have actually tested squatting and know that they can release their personal “mudguts” with more ease have a valid point , that for them squatting works.
            However mudguts like yourself sitting on the fence line to anxious and lazy , or have no need to do so yet claim that you know what is best for us.
            NO!!!! All you can claim is make up stories from never never land without any evidence or proof to back your claims.
            At least the individuals that have tried it have Evidence and proof that it works for them and that is all they are claiming.
            You have nothing to claim except possibly your Nome de plume and that says it all “MUDGUTS” !!!!!

  61. Maria says:

    It is a very beneficial product helping people with pelvic pain and other pelvic conditions. it has been an amazing product helping that type of population, which is bigger than you may expect. I would do the research considering this as well.

  62. Jo says:

    How about simply leaning forward! It works well too!

    • mudguts says:

      shhhh Jo.. they have spent their money and feel the need to talk about it

      (wait till the UFO people do the Aztec version)

      • Bruno Tonini says:

        No Mudguts they have had the courage to look at what people have been saying
        and dared to think for themselves, tried the contraption and it worked for them at a particular time.
        Being pleased with what they found , saw and experienced , they wish to share this information with open minded people who may have had similar problems as themselves.
        I have also tried the Squat and used to practice it , however due to a broken ankle and a hip replacement I am not as flexible as I once was and so have weaned myself of it. Would I recommend it ???

        Certainly its a suck it and see situation !!!!!

        If it works for you , it works for you!!!!!

        • mudguts says:

          well thank you.. I’ll correct the statement.

          shhhh Jo.. they have spent their money and feel the need to talk about it and wean themselves to it.

          (wait till the UFO people do the Aztec version)

  63. David Phillips says:

    I’ve bought and happily use a squatty potty. I used a footstool (no pun intended), until I purchased the S.P.
    I changed to squatting post surgery for a perforated bowel. I had a colestomy bag for 15 months, then another surgery to create a loop ileostomy and then had another surgery 6 months later to reverse the ileostomy and remove the bag.
    It was recommended by the nurses that I squat.
    I cannot refute your evidence, and your case is well made.
    Based upon my personal experience, I would highly recommend squatting as opposed to regular sitting.
    I bought the S.P. for reasons of neatness in the bathroom and I needed a stool that was another inch higher, and the S.P. was perfect.
    I will squat from now on as it does make the procedure easier and cleaner.
    You can use any footstool to raise your knees. So a S.P. is merely my choice. I was sceptical, but following use, I am a convert (-:

    • mudguts says:

      I finally found one at the warehouse of broken hearts at shell harbour.

      apart from being about the ugliest thing you’d want next to your toot, its a cheap piece of junk.

      If you wanted to buy one, you had better want to use it.. But it aint going to save your credibility..

      Honestly… Now they are is oz I can happily do some instore parody… When they get dumped to salvo’s and st vinnies.. they will say..
      Err no thanks..

  64. Taylor says:

    I love my squatty potty. I’ve had times when I was struggling until I put my feet up. Why would your body evolve to rely on sitting on a toilet? Just like your body evolved to rely on wearing heel elevators? Sheeyit

    • Hi taylor
      Unfortunately there are several problems with that logic. It is a good start but evolution is not linear nor does it always a benefit to the individual. Evolution benefits populations. Evolution produces traits that are good enough, not necessarily the best traits. To assume that we are evolved to some ideal position because it is natural is a variation of the naturalistic fallacy which doesn’t hold up. Secondly humans did not evolve to expel waste best in a particular position because then it produces more healthy individuals. That is a big tower on nonsensical fill-in that has nothing to do with evolution.

      • Mudguts says:

        wearing stillettos to the toot??? Now thats a bit more stylish than loo tupperware

      • Bruno Tonon says:

        So Stephen you know what Nature intended for all of us ???

        Why not keep it simple and report on actions people take and what the results are.

        Of course its not going to work for everyone but then name something that does?????

        It works wonders for most that have tried it and for others who are not interested in trying it , or who have difficulties in getting into that awkward position it doesn’t work!!!!

        • mudguts says:

          have you tried the tootsie parallel bars or rings Bruno?..

          If not, why not? you seem to be a sudden arbiter on physics..

          Its a plastic piece of junk that you would never buy to stick around your toilet.

          • Bruno Tonon says:

            What makes you such an authority on this subject.

            Words are cheap its action that counts !!!!
            What have you done mudguts to explore the topic???

  65. Scotty says:

    I changed my diet, drank more water, did everything I was meant to and I lost weight, got better at everything but was still plagued with bloating/constipation. I saw the add for a squaty potty over a year ago and thought it was a bit of a joke.
    Two months ago a ended up getting one on eBay very cheap.
    After just a few days I noticed a difference in my gut. Now two months later my Heath has improved dramatically. I’m about to buy another unit for work.
    I can’t say everyone will get the same result as me but after years of bullish!t with my gut this has so far worked for me. I have found that my evacuation is full and I’m going more regularly. My partner started using it too and while she is the epitome of good health has said that she feels better, lighter after using it.
    As for the scientific research, no idea. Just know it’s worked for me.

  66. pam says:

    Anybody with IBS that goes camping would swear by it. I never used one, but I have used a footstool and I have IBS. Anything that stops the pain sooner, is worth it. Squatting stops the pain sooner. I have no scientific data to backup my claims. I have no way of knowing if anybody’s product lives up to the claims of its inventor. I know that squatting stops the pain sooner.

  67. Bone Dawg says:

    All I can say is that I ended up getting a squatty potty and like it for one reason… it opens up my butt cheeks when I poop and makes wiping a less messy endeavor. I have a big butt.

  68. Audrey Hurd says:

    I have ALS and the squatters potty has helped me from being constipated{diet helps too} but my mustles are weak and they spasum not to mention I can’t move much in wheelchair or bed. I’m just glad it helps me.

  69. pie says:

    I used to live in a flat where the bath was opposite the toilet. One day I just oddly thought of putting my feet up on the side of the bath while I was sitting on the throne. Wow! It changed my world. Totally effortless, rarely even needed to wipe. (I mean I did to check but the paper was always clean.). Whether this stool raises the legs high enough to get the full effect is something I would question, but squatting is definitely superior to sitting, no doubt.

  70. Dani says:

    Say its not useful to someone whos been turning their trashcan upside down and putting their feet on that to get a bowel movement out. I read this article and was like how clever!

    • mudguts says:

      Project for an 8 year old with his first hardware set… and a better product than that plastic junk..

      whether it works?.. testimonial says so.. thats enough to avoid it..

      Conspiracists love testimonial.. whether it helps them poop or not..

  71. Bob Ross says:

    There’s a difference between a skeptic and a pseudoskeptic. You are the latter

  72. Robert Wyatt says:

    Of course there’s plenty of opportunity to research the claims, both abstractly and concretely.

    https://calendar.utexas.edu/event/volunteers_needed-_squatty_potty_foot_stool_study

  73. Renée M says:

    I can attest to its usefulness. Getting the job done takes seconds now. No pushing required. I even have a medical condition (POP) which should make going so close to impossible that surgery is my only option. Most doctors won’t prescribe squatting to poo. I researched and can absolutely say that this more natural position (and one I can’t, as an American, get into easily) makes a world of difference health-wise.

  74. jen says:

    A review written by someone that has never used the product? C’mon. Its not an expensive item. Why not just buy one. I think if you had you would have never considered writing this review it would be so obvious how beneficial this is. I got one because a Pediatric Gastroenterologist we saw a decade ago for child’s constipation problem, told us the best way to avoid GI problems in children, aside from a good diet with fiber included, was to put the kiddos on the potty morning, noon and night WITH THEIR FEET ON A STOOL. This would help to unkink the intestines and more closely represent squatting. The squatty potty just makes the whole operation more convenient. But, basically, this is a well known technique to avoid problems, and has been known for a LONG time.

  75. Emily says:

    Curious if, as part of your research, you tried one?

  76. Jeff says:

    Seems like a completely boring review considering you did not actually review “the product” but simply reviewed lituratures.

    • Noah Dillon says:

      I know. The only way to know about something is to buy it and then try it and decide if you spent your money wisely or foolishly. Writing about a product without using it is like claiming the sun is hot without actually going to the sun, or saying that people speak French in Paris without being French oneself. You can’t know anything about anything unless you were there. Heck, your great grandparents might never have lived. I certainly never met them. Did you? I’ve never used toxic gas. I should probably give it a whirl myself before assuming it will harm me, since reading about it isn’t the same as a first-hand review.

  77. Anna says:

    I’m just a regular person who got one for Christmas. But I have to say this thing really helped me out. I have crohn’s disease and I have problems with “completing evacuation”. This really helped with that. Before that, I just used a kid’s stool but it wasn’t very sturdy and not as high so it didn’t make for a great squatting position. But this thing really seems to work for me. I’m happy.

    • Anna see above comment as to why personal experience is the absolute worst way to determine if something is effective. See skeptoid podcast Don’t try it before you knock it.

      • Bruno Tonon says:

        Stephen how can a so called scientific person like yourself in the healing profession make such an offensive comment to ANNA.

        Anna says she has Crohn’s disease and for whatever reason the Squatty potty works for her.

        Now you who claim to be in the Nursing profession helping people get better make a claim trying to invalidate what works for her. Surely if you were her health provider and she reported to you that finally she was able to go to the toilet more successfully through this new method she had discovered , that you would be happy for her. Or no, just because it does not fit withing your framework of the world, would rather see Anna suffer needlessly .

        Its as if Anna does not have enough challenges bringing her Crohn”s disease under control but should she find out a better way to s**t , well that”s on because my background in so called science says that should be not so!!!

        Its best that she suffers aches and pains through constipation ect then accepting she has found a better way to s**t!!!!!!

        Can you not see the perversity of your so called scientific stance???????
        And you call yourself a healer????????

        • Noah Dillon says:

          Wow. That is a big overreaction. Anna is an adult and probably doesn’t need someone shouting and attacking the credentials of the writer. His remark likely has no effect on her satisfaction with her purchase, and I kind of doubt she cares one way or another about his reply or the scientific evidence. All he said—which I find hard to imagine is offensive in any way, shape, or form—is that personal experience isn’t a very good indicator of efficacy. And it’s really not. For example: I have a cat. I have never been attacked by terrorists. My personal experience might lead me to believe that my cat is dispelling terrorists, but that’s specious reasoning.

          People believe all sorts of things they purchase provide some kind of benefit, even if there’s no evidence that this stuff actually works. Whether Anna likes her purchase or doesn’t isn’t evidence that it’s doing anything. It’s evidence that she likes it and has a feeling—a feeling that it provides her some relief.

          You don’t need to jump down anyone’s throat for pointing that out. It’s really uncalled for. I mean really, cool it, OK?

          • Bruno tonon says:

            No over reaction at all Noah just a plain observation of someone in the so called healing profession being cruel and nasty to someone with Crohns disease that has finally found something that works for them!!!!

            What gives Stephen or yourself any authority to try to make Anna wrong because she found some solace using the squatty potty as a Crohn’s sufferer.
            The cat analogy just proves you are a windbag and has nothing to do with the real life evidence Anna has presented telling us the result she has achieved by using the squatty potty.
            What is your proof that it does not work. Give us the evidence!!!!! Otherwise keep blowing in the wind as it suits your personality.

          • Noah Dillon says:

            He wasn’t even “cruel and nasty.” He was just pointing out a fact of human psychology and provided some other resources for more information on it. Didn’t ridicule, didn’t name-call, nothing. I mean, if by “cruel and nasty” you mean he didn’t agree then we have very different notions of what those words mean. And your reaction was ridiculing, was name-calling, was disparaging, and didn’t add anything to the conversation or anything.

            This isn’t about “authority.” It’s about data. And, again, her enjoying her purchase doesn’t mean it’s effective, which is the question of this article. Those are two completely different subjects.

            The burden of proof is on those making a claim, since it’s extremely difficult to prove a negative. As far as I can tell, there’s no evidence of the efficacy of this product. Give us the evidence!!!!! Personal anecdotes, stories about being happy that you bought a product, are blowing wind; hard data is evidence. So what’s your proof that it works?

          • Bruno Tonon says:

            Yes he was cruel and nasty especially to someone with Crohn’s disease .

            Your so called Medical profession using scientific method have mainly done zilch for these patients except more surgery and pain.

            Anna” s evidence is self evident for her and in some way has helped her cope with her serious health problem so stop wind bagging about being no factual evidence!!!!!

            I’ll jump down your throat anytime for daring to hurt and maim people especially the ones like Stephen who claim to be in the healing profession and yet they torment sick people who have discovered that this methodology works for them.

            What they are claiming is that it works for them thats all!!!!!!

            So stop tormenting sick people who through their own discovery have finally found something that works for them!!!!!

            The data you claim that does not exist is all in your windbag head, because you have not got the balls or need to try one of these machines or method.
            Could be you are a shill!!!!! The internet is full of them!!!!!

          • Noah Dillon says:

            I’m not a doctor or a nurse. It’s not *my* profession. If someone has a disease without an adequate treatment it’s not like it’s because science failed them. It’s more likely because some conditions are really difficult to treat.

            No one here is being tormented. Jeez. And now with the “shill” accusation. Yes. That’s exactly how I make my money. I go onto science blog threads and try to have a rational conversation with someone who’s shouting and calling people names. I’m rolling in cash from that scheme. You got me. Who’s paying for your promotion of this product, huh? I bet nobody, since people can easily have thoughts without being incentivized with cash.

            I give up. You’re being really mean and irrational. What you’re saying makes no sense and seems intended simply to start a fight on behalf of someone else, who doesn’t seem to be engaged in this at all. Please don’t do anymore name-calling and jeering and stuff.

  78. WOW this a long list of comments to this. I love squatty potty though I will never use one. To me it seems like a pet rock…
    However, their commercials are far more enjoyable than pretty much everything else on television!
    have any of you seen the one for their scented sprays!!! OMG you people would make a chain longer than this one LMAO.

  79. Christine says:

    I bought one on clearance sale 12$ figured I’d give it a try plus needed a stool for my lil ones anyways. I noticed while in squatting position my fecal matter moved out quickly, I usually wait n wait and I have constipation quite frequently but with the squatty potty I seem to not be constipated not so much. I was skeptical but I like using it and once I got used to using it I dont like to poop without it. It feels better to poop in the squat position for me anyway and it is easier to wipe your bottom with the help of the squatty to put a leg up while doing so.

  80. Robert Allan Heckman says:

    If I thought I could become a millionaire by marketing a hunk of plastic, I would tell you it cures male pattern baldness, strengthens fingernails and is good for your dog’s mental health. BS or not, I would still be a millionaire!

  81. Marilyn says:

    The Squatty Potty has nothing to do with eliminating constipation. It allows a more complete elimination. And it works beautifully. I bought one on the recommendation of my proctologist. It was the best money spent. I love it. Worth every dime.

  82. Squatter says:

    Missing from the skeptical insistence on data of the health of squatting to poo is how such data would be coded. How shall one operationalize “better health” with respect to stacking logs? And is that even relevant to most poopers, who I assume are rather more concerned with thoroughly and quickly finishing the deed, regardless of whether they are healthier for it? In this instance, the data collected would amount to a large n collection of anecdotes concerning ease, comfort, and thoroughness of elimination. Or perhaps our intrepid skeptic can put in the research work to weigh bowel movements (before eventually determining that weighing subjects once after peeing then once after pooing results in less latex gloves disposed and fewer raised eyebrows). Would these direct measures amount to significantly better info than just asking subjects how well they bogged? And do you note the fallacy inherent in dismissing a potentially effective solution due to lack of data? Who is to fund this massive study of those who poop and their habits? Novelty stool manufacturers? Their skeptics? It would all amount to a s****y funding proposal to answer a crap research question about s**t.

    • mudguts says:

      Donovan beat you to it by about 4 decades..

      Donovan – The Intergalactic Laxative Lyrics
      The Intergalactic Laxative
      Words & Music by: Donovan Leitch – 1973
      Performed by: Donovan
      Album: Cosmic Wheels – 1973

      I was impressed like everyone,
      When man began to fly,
      Out of earthly regions,
      To planets in the sky.
      With total media coverage,
      We watched the heros land,
      As ceremoniously
      They disturbed the cosmic sand.
      In awe with admiration,
      We listened to the talk.
      Such pride felt they,
      Such joy to be
      Upon the moon to walk.
      My romantic vision shattered,
      When it was explained to me,
      Spacemen wear old diapers
      In which they shit and pee.
      Oh, the intergalactic laxative,
      Will get you from here to there.
      Relieve you and believe me,
      Without a worry or care.
      If shitting is your problem,
      When you’re out there in the stars,
      Oh, the intergalactic laxative
      Will get you from here to Mars.
      They don’t partake like you and I,
      Of beefy burger mush.
      Their food is specially prepared
      To dissolve into slush.
      Absorbed by multi-fibers
      In the super diaper suit,
      Otherwise the slush would trickle
      Down inside the boot.
      Oh, the intergalactic laxative,
      Will get you from here to there.
      Relieve you and believe me,
      Without a worry or care.
      If shitting is your problem
      When you’re out there in the stars,
      Oh, the intergalactic laxative
      Will get you from here to Mars.
      You may well ask now what becomes
      Of liquid they consume.
      A pipe is led from penis head
      To a unit in the room.
      The water is recirculated,
      Filtered for re-use.
      In case of anti-gravity –
      Pee gets on the loose.
      Oh, the intergalactic laxative,
      Will get you from here to there.
      Relieve you and believe me,
      Without a worry or care.
      If shitting is your problem
      When you’re out there in the stars,
      Oh, the intergalactic laxative
      Will get you from here to Mars.
      Wherever man has conquered,
      On the quest for frontiers new,
      (Da da da da)
      I’m glad that he’s always had to do
      The number one and two.
      It makes it all so ordinary,
      Just like you and me,
      To know the greatest heroes,
      They had to shit and pee.
      The intergalactic laxative
      Will get you from here to there,
      For cosmic constipation
      There’s none that can compare.
      If shitting is your problem
      When you’re out there in the stars,
      Oh, the intergalactic laxative,
      The intergalactic laxative,
      The intergalactic laxative,
      Will get you from here to Mars

  83. Mr poopy says:

    I’m sitting on a squatty potty as I am writing this and I must say I suffer from IBS and this has made my experience in the restroom a lot better I am 21 and already have my first hemroid so I am trying to take care of my potty time as I tend to sit long on top of having diarrhea/constipation normally I will irritate my hemroid when sitting normally but I have been squatiing for about 20 mins now and no irritation no blood everything feels like it’s working smoothly I would say give it a try for yourself before jumping to conclusions and no I’m not a paid advertiser just someone who suffers from the unpleasantness of having to go to the restroom all the time happy pooping everyone 🙂

    • Wash instead of Squash says:

      If one can arrange to wash one’s rear with warm water, as in a Bidet or whatever, instead of scraping with paper, that would much more soothing than merely adopting a “squatting” stance. I have tried both, believe me.

    • mudguts says:

      Let’s hope this isnt an anecdote for yer lifestyle then..

  84. Really? says:

    The Squatty Potty costs $25. The amount of research put into this article and the amount of time the author urges others to spend researching and considering and mulling over minute details makes no sense given the low, low cost of the product. It’s easier, less time consuming and more cost effective to buy the Squatty potty and try it out. That is unless your personal time is valued so low that it can be frittered away doing $1000 worth of research to agonize over a $25 purchase.

    • Noah Dillon says:

      How do you figure this requires $1,000 worth of research? The research already exists. Spending money on a product that doesn’t do anything useful—even if it’s the low, low price of $25—is silly.

      I’ll sell you a rock that will keep Al Qaeda away. It’s only $5. It’s so cheap that it makes no sense to fact check it. The only way you’ll know for sure is if you buy the stone and try it yourself. Send money via Venmo. I don’t do PayPal.

  85. Danny Deez says:

    Skeptoid/Stephen was hard up for material when developing this article. The author stretches to make the point that actual squatting is superior to the position encouraged by the Squatty Potty. In doing so he’s actually validating the claims made by the manufacturer (Squatty Potty) that a squatted position is superior to the traditional position most American/European toilets encourage. Additionally, for those that aren’t squatting already, an assisted squat position will be superior to full-on squatting, which can be a strenuous and even painful position to maintain. Seems counterintuitive to creating a more relaxed evacuation, right?
    There are LOTS of comments to this article. If you pay attention to those claiming to have actually tested the product or alternative methods (phone books, buckets, etc) there’s an obvious majority supporting the validity of the claims made by SP. And, you can add me to the list. I was skeptical before “testing” the Squatty Potty, but the results for me (and apparently *everyone that’s actually used it) were obvious and undeniable.

    • mudguts says:

      So did you get ripped off??? they are basically handing them out here because they cant sell them… For good reason ..

  86. Jen says:

    We just got a free Squatty potty from a friend who bought a three pack, score for us, we also used it today for the first time. As for me, I am not sure it did anything for me (5’5 female). My poos are regular and quick but, for my boyfriend (6’3 male), whom has problems with hemorrhoids, his bathroom process, on average, takes about 20min and never less than 10min. Today he was in and out within 5mins. He said that it helped a lot and he felt that the evacuation was fuller and less strenuous. My opinion is that it was because his legs a waaaaaaay longer than mine as to put him in more of a squatting position than it would me, therefore making it worth the money if we had paid. I’m just excited that I don’t have to wait 20-30min to use the bathroom anymore lol.

  87. Cate says:

    I have to say that I agree, having your legs elevated and in a squat position definitely makes it easier to go (you don’t have to “push” as hard) so I can say that this ridiculous little stool has worked for me in that sense… But I don’t think it has done much else. If you’re not getting enough roughage and water in your diet, I doubt that it would matter whether you lay down or squat…you’re going to get constipated either way.
    It’s not an essential purchase. You can use just about anything to elevate your legs a little

  88. Candice says:

    Well said by Matt, you obviously went Into all the scientific crap yourself to support your own claim as it not being plausible when maybe you should have just tried it yourself maybe? You obviously have never suffered true bowel issues so will always be a skeptic. It actually works very well and the positive feedback online is not fake. People without vowel issues may or may not see a benefit but to ppl with true chronic issues it adds a benefit to many and any benefit is a massive benefit when you are dealing with this condition daily.

    • Noah Dillon says:

      You don’t need to try stubbing your toe to know it will hurt. Personal experience isn’t required for figuring out if something is true or not. If this helps people with bowel issues then studies will bear that out quantitatively, rather than simply by asking “do you feel good about shelling out your hard-earned money for this plastic stool?”

      Everyone, including me and you, invents justifications for the purchases they make, whether they’re rational or not. That doesn’t mean they’re fake, it means they’re employing, even inadvertently, the totally human trait called “motivated reasoning.” It’s not craziness or lying or fakery—no one claimed it was—it’s just, among other things, reassuring yourself that the choices you make a good and decent. If you feel great about the plastic stool, fine. That doesn’t mean it’s actually doing anything. It just means you like it and you feel like it is good. If you doubt this stuff, maybe think a little bit beyond yourself and think about some good examples of people doing this stuff apart from the plastic stool. You’ll probably find it’s extremely common.

      • Chupacerveza says:

        Isn’t it time you were moving on Noah?

        • Noah Dillon says:

          I guess. How did you decide what I should do?

          • Chupacerveza says:

            It’s simple: your presence here is less about putting forth scientific evidence than it is about getting in pissing contests and berating others while exuding self-aggrandizement. It’s almost as if you went to the bathroom to masturbate in the mirror but you found the squatty potty crowd blocking your efforts. I was trying to keep my communication to you simple, direct, and civil, but since you asked…..

          • Noah Dillon says:

            What?

            Thanks for the snap judgment. I don’t know where you’re getting any of that stuff in what I wrote.

          • Bruno Tonon says:

            Well said Chupacerveza . A very creative observation and description !!!!

  89. Bruno Tonon says:

    What a pompous condescending statement Noah from the Ark makes when invalidating people like Candice that have actually successfully used and tested the squatty potty.
    On what authority , evidence or know how can you make any statement about whether the Squatty potty works????? Zilch !!!!!!

    Only parrots and laggards wait for some authority to tell them whether something works or not. Innovative people that may have some problems do not need any authority to tell them what works or not, they have the courage to go out and try it and make up their own minds.

    Communism and the authority of the Church disappeared years ago Noah.
    Thank god we now live in a free world and don’t need any authority to tell us what works and what doesn’t!!!!
    The Berlin Wall fell many years ago Noah !!!!!

    • Noah Dillon says:

      An Ark joke! Haven’t heard that before.

      Only suckers believe things just because they shelled out money for them. Like, that’s the dictionary definition of the term.

      I don’t know what the communism and church remark means. Or the Berlin Wall thing. If you’re talking about truth being anything you can purchase on a free market, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

      • Bruno Tonon says:

        There you go again Noah, spiteful remarks about people who have chronic bowel issues that have had some success using the Squatty potty method and you call them ” Suckers!!!!”

        How dare you make these people wrong .

        What do you know personally about the pain and discomfort some people have just going to the toilet and you deride and insult them!!!!

        Shame on you and your kind of laggards to frightened to explore innovative approaches to having a bog!!!. Thank god we now have courageous people that dare to investigate for themselves what works and what doesn’t and who don’t rely on any authority to dare to look at something new.

        Remember they would have no need to look at the Squatty potty if your so called scientific approach to problems would have worked for them.

        These success stories are self evident for the people that have used the squatty potty, and your windbag comments just blow in the wind aimlessly just like Noah’s ark once did.

        • Noah Dillon says:

          Dude, there’s nothing spiteful in what I’ve said. And, again, this is about evidence: as you’ll note in the essay, the author says that squatting can lead to more effortless bowel movements.

          The issue he takes with it is that there is no evidence for the additional claims made by the company that manufactures this thing. And the studies taking seriously this innovative approach have been found wanting. No one is frightened to explore anything. But if you find disappointment on the other side and claim otherwise, it’s not really about courage or fright, it’s about intellectual honesty.

          I also have a lot of sympathy for people in this position. A friend has bowel issues and has tried everything, including a device like this—with no relief. A friend’s father has Crohn’s and got no relief. So shouldn’t we count their stories, too? Are you disparaging their illness by holding up a device that has done them no good? No. Are you helping them? No.

          I didn’t make anyone “wrong,” man. I also didn’t deride or insult them. Yeesh. I’m not an authority and never claimed to be. Like, what are you talking about?

          Dude, also: just because medical science can’t currently solve a problem doesn’t mean it’s invalid, so let’s just set that fallacy aside, too. It would be like claiming that just because there isn’t a cure for AIDS that doctors also can’t set broken bones or perform a heart transplant or something. It’s absurd.

  90. Bruno Tonon says:

    Noah no one here has claimed it works for everyone.

    ” squatting can lead to more effortless bowel movements ” means it does not work for everyone!!!!!!!

    ” And the studies taking seriously this innovative approach have been found wanting.” Name the studies and where we all can find them..

    It is about intellectual honesty Noah in looking at the whole picture of helping someone to heal and not just the present medical model which you seem to adhere to.

    ” A friend has bowel issues and has tried everything, including a device like this—with no relief”

    This did not work for them fine, no one said it worked for everyone. We are all unique when it comes to our diseases and a shoe that fits all is a fallacy , an assumption the Medical profession makes .

    ” Dude, also: just because medical science can’t currently solve a problem doesn’t mean it’s invalid, so let’s just set that fallacy aside, too. ”

    In this example Anna” s case when it comes to the bog your medical friends could not help Anna. Their Scientific methodology may have been correct however their observations and assumptions were wrong because Anna and many others here on the list could not relieve themselves properly. Your Logic can be perfect but if you make the wrong assumption and it does not work you are still wrong!!!!!!!!

    Annas squatty potty worked for her and for that you should be thankful that for so many on this list it has brought some sense of relief at a very small cost compared to the previous regimes they may have been following.

  91. CARYN says:

    I’ve been in pelvic floor therapy and today was my last visit. The therapist suggested I might benefit from one of these to help avoid painful spasms from bearing down. I guess that it’d be hard to market this product to people for that particular reason, though.

    The Chinese squat toilet doesn’t look like it’s meant for solids. Never been to China, though. In Korea the women’s restrooms either had Western toilets only or a combination of Western and squat (if all you had to do was pee).

  92. Jame says:

    I had chronic constipation and the the squatty potty has almost completely eliminated the issue (pun intended). But seriously though, it has worked great for me.

  93. Ellie says:

    I have IBS as well as bowel problems caused by medication, so I got the squatty potty clone, hoping it would help, and if not I wouldn’t have wasted much money. I haven’t been using it long, but so far I’m pretty impressed. It’s not as uncomfortable as I thought it would be, it takes a bit to get used to but I’m finding I prefer using it to normal sitting. I also find I’m having to visit the bathroom less frequently, and when I am in there for an extended period of time, my legs no longer fall asleep, which was a problem in the sitting position. It might not be for everyone, but I think for anyone who does have bowel/stomach problems, or circlulation issues, it would be well worth trying.

  94. Milana Leshinsky says:

    I just returned from my obgyn doctor after experiencing sharp pain… She said I had pelvic floor damage. Just after 2 weeks of using squatty potty. I find it ironic that some reviews here say that it’s supposed to protect it.

  95. Jim says:

    I am a,Colon cancer surviver who is missing 9 ” of my colon which causes constipation and bloating. .I got the squatty potty and it worked like it said it would..I don’t have to strain and squatting let’s gravity take over.the person who wrote this should understand humans never had toilets and we are designed to squat when pooping .The proff is in my toilet every morning and it’s done Wirth ease..The w t otter evidently ever tried it so he shouldn’t make such negative comments on something he never tried.

  96. Lou Abdnour says:

    All well and good, however, you didn’t address the high cost ($25) when you can find any inexpensive stool at many bargain stores!

    • Bruno Tonon says:

      So you agree that it works.
      All we are now arguing is about the price??????

      • mudguts says:

        As I stated earlier… piece of junk fit for internet trolls..

        Hi Bruno.. How are the sales of the junktastic plastic going?

        • Bruno Tonon says:

          Didn’t need to buy one Mudguts and because I am resourceful I made mine out of wood after all they are just steps.
          I have not used one for over 2 years due to breaking my ankle and then falling of a bike and having a hip operation on the same leg.
          However your enthusiasm and passion for the product has piqued my interest once and I am going to drag the wooden steps out of storage and try them out again.

          I will en-devour to report back to you how my crap is flowing and give you a most detailed report for your perusal!!!!!

  97. Pfram says:

    People seem to have a lot to say about this. I don’t see the point of arguing over the validity of studies or even considering their results. I looked at this site after it occurred to me that those elevated seats they fit to elderly people’s toilets must make a mess of their systems. I didn’t have to check out any studies, it just seemed wrong. I can see why they use those things, but if anyone needs the device described here, it’s the people who have to live with elevated toilets. Anyway, for anyone else, just try a step stool, a cinder block or a stack of books. If it works, this thing probably will too, and it will store itself more neatly. ’nuff said.

  98. Kell says:

    Suggesting ppl with dire health concerns wait around for steep scientific evidence to take actions that may alleviate their pain is incredibly ableist of you. The level of drama in these comments only goes to show how serious bowel movement and colon health are. Why you devalue the importance of evacuating waste from the body is beyond me. Colon health (and in the same vein urination) is so obviously vital. You talk so much about “science” but do not offer anatomical evidence about the mechanisms of bowel movements. For one, “science” is western-made thereby it is inherently colonialist and elitist among other issues. Your whole tone is very ableist and idealistic. We don’t have enough $$ allocated to do proper research on ANYTHHING. We go off of what we have. I’m sorry you refuse to grasp the value of anecdotal or anything other than rigidity. Science is no different from mythology: it is the way we understand the world around us and ourselves based on the current reality. Scientific evidence is not one thing alone, and besides some ppl can’t hold off until your perfect studies–the risk of doing nothing about a health issue vs having hard evidence is a balancing act and choice those of us who are disabled have to make. These are dire matters, even to the point of life and death and it would behoove you to treat it with such respect. One of your glaring mistakes is not understanding the whole “constipation is more common in women and people of color” (lol “nonwhites” is so Anglo-centric, please don’t use it). That is nothing more than a tallying up of ANECDOTAL reporting by patients to their docs. Unless you have anatomical resoning to suggest women and PoC have different colons that whites/men, that is not proof of correlation: it only goes to show that men and yt ppl are less likely to report their constipation bc: men have fragile egos and white culture is puritanical, thereby drenching us in bodily shame such that we’d rather suffer things we’ve made embarrassing in silence so as to protect our pride. Women are more comfortable with their bodies bc they have to deal with menstruation, birthing, etc. PoC may not live with such body detachment that whites do or are more able to own up to their bodily reality bc of how much their bodies are policed and how much violence faced thereby making them monitor themselves more closely. And perhaps ppl with less education wouldn’t have spent so long sitting at a desk and their bodies are less directed towards sitting on toilets. You have many logical fallacies going on here or are just not caring to delve into the intersectionality behind those stats.

    A great quote from Asimov: robots are logical but not reasonable. Use some reasoning skills next time. No matter how rigorous and blind a study there is always something we don’t understand, so plz don’t say “none of them are position related” bc you don’t know that, that’s just what our current understanding has detailed. All this is is an ableist review where you’d rather trash talk a product on the market bc you’re overly skeptical of marketing ploys. Be skeptical of the cost or the materials used, be skeptical of our consumerism and our westernized way of using sit toilets that go against our evolution.

    Something more helpful would be advice that those who do make the SP personal choice, as is our prerogative, to take it slow w the SP. Yes we were raised on toilets so are muscles have attuned to that but ultimately mammalian bodies are designed to squat to remove our wastes. Suggest ppl use it on and off, not all at once. Put some of your effort from upholding our problematic scientific rigor, instead into trying to make products more accessible. There are plenty of other marketing ploys that are more dangerous for ppl I’d be happy to suggest for you “skeptoid”. The real question is have there been any cases where SP have caused injury? But that would be relying on your enemy: anecdotal evidence. Reports made by ppl brave enough to come forward with issues relating to the colon. And yeah no shit old ppl struggle more w constipation, everything goes when you’re older. Ultimately, all science is anecdotal: all researchers, even in blind studies, operate within their bias and their perceptual limitations, of which whites have the most, and whites control how science functions and is implemented.
    Signed, a white disabled scientist.

    • Denny K says:

      Dear white disabled scientist (and I believe we are brothers in this cause) … This is the most entertaining, silly, and rewarding string of messages I’ve ever joined. Who knew that our secret poo habits could be so very interesting!

    • mudguts says:

      what.. no violins?.. I would like the violin potty..

  99. landy says:

    Human are absolutely not built to sit. It’s an engineering problem and it is not opinion, it’s math. If all jujitsu practitioners tell you armbars work without the mathematical explanation is it dismissed, no, because the foundation is easy to understand, same case here. Putting elimination aside (which you acknowledge is improved ye still do not recommend spending $25 US) it is absolutely anatomically superior for far more important orthopedic reasons. The US and UK have epidemic back pain, spine/ nerve problems and this along with other improved positioning undoubtedly decreases the likelihood of suffering from such a problem which will cost many multiples, thousands of, the $25 US investment. You’re harming people for ego gratification. It is 100% advisable for every person to squat or stand in lieu of sitting and doing so will have a profound impact on their future. I wonder what you spend $25 on? I wonder.., Can I ask, do you happen to be overweight, inactive and sugar addicted?

    • Noah Dillon says:

      I think you didn’t read the article carefully. It clearly says that using a squatting position can be useful in helping with elimination, but that far more extraordinary claims made by the manufacturer aren’t backed up by science. Who is being harmed?

    • mudguts says:

      cant see them shifting here.. the spotty potty is a clunker. They have been in the has to go bin for two months now

      Maybe its a national retentive inventive thing over there..Maybe we dont have barking zealots like yerself to flog them

  100. g-dubious says:

    Ok, I have held off making any further comments here, but I see that the argument, such as it is, has not gone in a very useful direction.

    It seems to me that the term “pseudoscience” is being used here more as a cudgel than as a useful distinction. You’re lumping proponents of the SP in with crystal power believers and spiritual mediums, which is frankly ludicrous. It suffices to say merely that the evidence for its efficacy is weak.

    In fact, it is not so easy to draw a clear line between `science’ and `non-science’, as centuries of continuing scientific and philosophical debate attest, so the term should probably be retired except perhaps for the most egregious lapses (faith healing, astrology, palm reading, etc.) The SP is not in that category. It is merely untested, at least by the standards of a randomized controlled trial.

    And the randomized controlled trial itself is not the arbiter of what is science. Take, for example, the evolutionary hypothesis advanced by Darwin. Is it science? I can assure you that basically every scientist working today would affirm that it is. But there has never been anything like a randomized controlled trial to test it. There is, nevertheless, a veritable mountain of very strong evidence supporting this hypothesis, accumulated from multiple independent lines of inquiry (fossil morphology, computational phylogenetic DNA studies, laboratory experiments on selection pressure, etc.) No less an authority than Karl Popper himself struggled with the status of natural selection, initially declaring it unscientific before ultimately changing his mind. My point being, it is not always so obvious, even to very intelligent people who have considered the question carefully, exactly where to draw the line between `scientific’ and `non-scientific’ hypotheses.

    Discounting personal experience is not an inherently scientific position either, as I’ve argued above. It is, of course, quite reasonable to point out that people can, and often do, fool themselves regarding the correct interpretation of their own subjective experiences. Medicine is unusually difficult in this regard, because the phenomena involved have complex and multifactorial causes, and people have poor memories. There are of course countless examples of bogus medical interventions that have garnered sincere but unjustified testimonials; that is to say, the “false positive” rate, as it is known, is very high. But that is merely an empirical observation, and it has no bearing whatsoever on the question of whether the hypotheses being tested are `scientific’ or not. If the false positive rate were very low, we would treat patient testimonials as reliable indicators of efficacy, and we would be justified in doing so. It just so happens that experience has taught us they are not reliable in many cases.

    But that does not imply that they are unreliable in every case, or that we are justified in dismissing a particular claim categorically merely because it has not been vetted by a randomized controlled trial. It only means that the claim in question should be viewed with an appropriate level of skepticism. What “appropriate” means depends on circumstances beyond my power to enumerate, but there is necessarily a degree of — shall I say it? — subjectivity and intuition involved. Science is not an algorithm. If it were, we could simply automate the production of scientific facts like we have automated the production of cars.

    Your position seems to be that anyone who has tried the SP (or some self-assembled proxy thereof) is a fool. But that is not at at all consistent with the scientific point of view. True skepticism is not about overzealous denunciations, sinister clickbait titles, and deliberate misinterpretations of other people’s arguments. It is a guarded posture with respect to particular claims, not a categorical rejection of them.

    I have a hypothesis that if I cut off my arm, it will very quickly lower my blood pressure to zero. Do I need a randomized controlled trial to confirm my suspicion? Surely this is a hypothesis that meets the threshold of plausibility, at the very least. In fact, it’s about as close to a scientific fact as you can get, and this despite the fact that 1) no RCT on this topic has ever been performed, and 2) the underlying mechanisms involve a complex network of interconnected body systems. But if I follow your “skeptical” reasoning to its obvious conclusion, I can never really be sure about this hypothesis until I’ve performed the requisite trials.

    The claim that the squatty potty allows for easier elimination is a reasonable one. It meets the threshold of plausibility, and is supported by ethnographic and historical considerations, simple biomechanics, and individual testimonials. Other claims, e.g., that it reduces the risk of colon cancer, are far more dubious, and are not justified by the evidence. There are nuances, here. You are not allowing for them. The former claim is a weak one, and involves a degree of subjective appraisal. Holding it to a high standard of evidence (i.e., a randomized controlled trial) is ridiculous. It is also impracticable. The latter claim is stronger, objective, and statistical, and indeed requires a very high standard of evidence to establish. Conflating these two very different kinds of claims is merely posturing for effect, a calculated obtuseness that is beneath you.

    • mudguts says:

      Its still not worth the 5 bucks tho.. no one is buying them from the bargain bin here. The bargain bin used to have good stuff like cheap aftershave for your toes. But when the sloppy plastic potty went in.. They have been holding out on the value stuff until they move..

      Maybe they sold in Canberra..

    • Alexandria Nick says:

      “I have a hypothesis that if I cut off my arm, it will very quickly lower my blood pressure to zero. Do I need a randomized controlled trial to confirm my suspicion?”

      Are you certain there’s been no testing on this matter, because I’m pretty sure there actually has been.

      • mudguts says:

        what is this.. skeptoid the podcast started in what 2006??? This version of Skeptoid has been around for at least 5-6 years…

        All the authors have mentioned that a scholar search or similar is where bods who dont have work or library access to journals can have a squiz at the published literature..

        If you guys think there is a body of work (not just a passing giggle), look it up.. If you think the topic is only a quick googles worth.. None of us would be arguing here..

        Sorry for typos (my eyes dont work too well this time of night)

      • g-dubious says:

        I’m not aware of any randomized controlled trials to study the physiological effects of this particular intervention. Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure there are ethical and legal barriers to conducting them.

  101. Dunc says:

    I don’t use it but did do the feet elevation and after suffering hemerroids I can say I it comes out easier for sure. Had operations then did the feet elevation and what a difference, no need to strain and no bleeding .

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