Are you pooing wrong?

We may not like to talk about our toilet habits, but it’s a universal action that binds us all. And as it turns out, many of us may being doing it all wrong. We thought we’d share with you the secret of how to poo properly, according to Charming Bowels author Giulia Enders.

Dr Enders wrote the bestseller Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ, which has sold more than four million copies and been published in over 40 countries. She claims we should be squatting – not sitting – on the toilet bowl when we poo.

Read: What your poo says about you

Dr Enders says various studies show if we want to poo more efficiently, we need to squat. It has something to do with the closure mechanism near the rectum, which doesn’t completely open during sitting down or standing up. Evidently, it’s as if this ‘hatch’ acts similarly to a kinked hose when we sit or stand. Supposedly, squatting is a more natural position for enabling the easy passage of poo, as it puts less pressure on our behinds.

Dr Enders says: “1.2 billion people around the world who squat have almost no incidence of diverticulosis and fewer problems with piles. We in the West, on the other hand, squeeze our gut tissue until it comes out of our bottoms.”

Read: Bowel cancer explained

However, if you’re not one for squatting, you can achieve a similar effect by placing a little stool (no, not that kind of stool!) under your feet and leaning forward when you’re on the loo. Or you could try a couple of books. (Where are the Yellow Pages when you need them?)

June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and the perfect time to reflect on this disease. Bowel cancer claims the lives of 101 Australians each week, but it’s also one of the most treatable types of cancer if found early. And one of the best ways to find out if you have a problem ‘back there’ is to learn more about how your bum works.

If you want to find out more about Bowel Cancer Awareness month, or more about bowel cancer in general, visit

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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