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3 ways to sit on the toilet to increase bowel movement

Adopting the right posture can facilitate smoother and more efficient bowel movement.

How do you sit on the toilet? [Shutterstock]

Digestive health is a crucial aspect of overall well-being, yet many people experience issues such as constipation, irregular bowel movements, and discomfort during elimination.

While dietary choices and hydration play significant roles in maintaining regularity, how you sit on the toilet can also impact your bowel movements.

Adopting the right posture can facilitate smoother and more efficient elimination.

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Here are three effective ways to sit on the toilet to increase bowel movement;

The squatting position is often touted as the most natural and effective posture for bowel movements. This method involves elevating your feet on a small stool or footrest while sitting on the toilet, bringing your knees closer to your chest.

Benefits

- Improved angle: Squatting changes the angle of the rectum, aligning it more naturally with the anus and reducing the need for straining.

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- Muscle relaxation: This position relaxes the puborectalis muscle, which normally constricts the rectum. Relaxation of this muscle allows for easier passage of stool.

- Reduced straining: Decreases the risk of haemorrhoids and other complications associated with excessive straining.

How to:

- Place a small stool or footrest (often referred to as a "squatty potty") in front of your toilet.

- Sit on the toilet seat and place your feet on the stool, raising your knees above hip level.

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- Lean slightly forward, keeping your back straight and your elbows resting on your knees if comfortable.

Leaning forward while sitting on the toilet can help increase intra-abdominal pressure, promoting more effective bowel movements. This position can be particularly useful for individuals who struggle to eliminate without straining.

Benefits

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- Increased pressure: Leaning forward naturally increases pressure in the abdomen, aiding the expulsion of stool.

- Rectal angle adjustment: This position slightly adjusts the angle of the rectum, similar to the squatting position, facilitating easier passage.

How to:

- Sit on the toilet with your feet flat on the floor.

- Lean forward, placing your elbows on your knees if needed for support.

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- Maintain a straight back and try to relax your abdominal muscles to allow for natural pressure to assist in bowel movements.

The side-saddle position involves sitting on the toilet seat with your hips turned slightly to one side. This adjustment can help individuals who experience discomfort or difficulty in a traditional sitting position.

Benefits

- Customised comfort: Provides an alternative angle for those who may have specific physical conditions or discomfort when sitting straight.

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- Muscle relaxation: This position can help some people relax the necessary muscles more effectively, promoting easier bowel movements.

How to:

- Sit on the toilet seat as usual.

- Shift your hips slightly to one side, adjusting until you find a comfortable position.

- Keep your feet flat on the floor or use a footrest if needed.

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Proper toilet posture can significantly enhance bowel movements, promoting better digestive health and reducing the risk of complications such as constipation and haemorrhoids.

Each of these methods can be easily implemented with minimal adjustment. Prioritise your digestive health by experimenting with these positions and discover what works best for you.

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