To Squat Or To Not?


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Only Squats I’ll Do Again Will Be At The GYM!

As a transitioning freshman, the whole idea of making a “public” bathroom my “personal” one really has been an experience. Since a child I was told to squat while using any toilet other than the one in my home. The funniest part about it all is that I never had a concrete answer to why this was a thing, but I always believed it was the best thing to do. As I become more comfortable with accepting this horrible living situation, I’ve stopped squatting while using the bathroom. I mean lets be real, do you really feel like holding your balance while using the bathroom? (NO! me either).



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Why Do Ladies Squat?

Most Americans (like myself, probably even you too) swear by the fact that squatting while using public restrooms will save you from germs and “cooties”, but none of us know what these “germs” we are trying to avoid are. I think every female has laid down tissue paper around a public bathroom or two at least once in her life. For those times that you couldn’t barely hold it enough to get your pants down, you still managed to hover over the toilet rather than sitting down. After releasing all the anxiety of urinating, you probably also left a gift on the seat for those who do not squat didn’t you? (and you did not even think twice about wiping it up). People like you (us, I do it too shh..) are the reason why you even squat in public in the first place. No one wants to take the time out to wipe a random persons PISS off of a public toilet, just to sit down on it. It’s annoying. But when there is no trickles of lemonade on the seat, what more are ladies avoiding?

Are There Health Risks Associated With Squatting?

It is concluded that sitting on a toilet seat is low risk for transmitting germs from the seat to your skin, however many still swear by this method. For one, every woman develops a posture when urinating, whether it be squatting or sitting directly on the toilet. However, it is concluded from studied that the best posture for a woman to practice is sitting on the edge of the toilet seat, legs separated, while also leaning forward slightly. This is said to help open up and relax the pelvis.


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In an observational study, forty-five college students were observed for their actual urination postures while their residual urine and urine flow was also measured. It was observed that the women who squatted showed a longer delay time to initiate urination compared to those whom sat directly on the seat. The mechanism for this finding was concluded to be that the posture of sitting directly on the seat, leaning forward, legs apart actually relaxed the pelvic floor, making urinating a smoother task. Although this showed in fact that squatting was less beneficial for relaxing the pelvis, creating a smoother void pattern, the study failed to find a difference between residual urine volume and maximum flow rate amongst postures.

Squatting requires a woman to contract their gluteus maximus and adductor femoris muscles. When the latter is contracted, it causes failure of the pelvic floor to relax, which makes urination more difficult. Although squatting may seem like it would open the pelvis more, balance and stability matters greatly on how effective the posture is at this. If a woman is not relaxed and not balanced, this can create a more difficult process that could be smoother by simply sitting directly on the toilet seat.

90% of the women that participated in this study stated that their reason for squatting was that they believed public toilet seats to not be clean. Other factors were the height of the toilet, in which about 66% of the women participating in this study gave as a reason, and limited space issues, in which about 82% of women in the study claimed. Amongst the women in the study whom did not sit directly on the toilet seat, about 39% of those women claimed that they began these postures as early as junior high school.

Therefore, while trying to avoid petty “germs” that are believed to be on a toilet seat that can harm you skin, women are squatting, which is actually making a harder job for their pelvis. The risk of squatting is higher than the risk of being contaminated by a public toilet seat. So which risk do you prefer even after knowing that information? Some will still continue their posture habit of squatting even after knowing this information.

However, although squatting or hovering for women is risky, it is actually more beneficial for men. Most American men would not even think about sitting down on a toilet to urinate, which is why many use urinals instead of the toilets in the stalls, but studies show that it is very beneficial. It is concluded that it is actually more risky for a male to stand up while peeing rather than to sit down. So far, these risks include prostate problems, and a shorter less healthy sex life.  It was concluded in 2014 by researches at the Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands that sitting down while peeing gave men a stronger force when urinating, which also helped men suffering from Lower Urinary Tract disease symptoms. It was also stated in this article that standing to pee contracts muscles in the pelvis and spine that prevent proper urination processes. This has concluded to be causal of prostate problems, which also was causal to less sex over time. (However this information is not supported anywhere, and is not likely to be factual).

I think it is interesting to think about how the normal urinating postures both men and women have adapted over evolution are actually harmful, and how no matter what people will not stop. I wonder what risk and danger rate would have people thinking twice about their urinating postures? I also find it interesting how people differentiate the toilet of their own home or even of a friends home between that of a public toilet, and why they believe that the risk of sitting directly on a public toilet seat is any greater than their own.








3 thoughts on “To Squat Or To Not?

  1. Jordan Crawford

    This is a really cool blog post. I’ve actually have researched this for another class. You have some really good and detailed information in this blog post. You should look up Kelly Starrett, he is a big name in the Crossfit world. He has done some amazing work on squats and mobility.

  2. lkr5215

    As a woman, I understand squatting in public restrooms. I always wondered if there was any actual benefit or is it a girl thing being paranoid. This is an interesting topic! I think you did an excellent job on your blog making it very relaxed but still related back into science. I think adding the studies as well was a nice touch. Like you, i wonder if people will think more about their urinating postures.

  3. John Rutledge

    This is news to me about people squatting while going to the bathroom. I thought everyone just sat down and didn’t really think about anyone else going a different way. My parents never told me anything about squatting, but that might be the way I was raised. The question you should have really asked here to make your blog post better is, ” is squatting more sanitary than sitting?”

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