Here’s some news that really stinks: Many of us don’t know how poop properly. To correct our crappy technique, a few U.K. design students from Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design created the Wellbeing Toilet, an ergonomic contraption that helps us get into the appropriate position for going number two. The designers say their new toilet allows us to poop the healthy way, i.e. in a position closer to squatting than sitting at a 90-degree angle.
Health experts say squatting is a more “natural” posture than sitting upright, and allows for easier, gentler defecation. Apparently, sitting on modern toilets can cause straining, constipation, hemorrhoids, and even Crohn’s disease and colon cancer Comparison of straining during defecation in three positions: results and implications for human health. Sikirov, D. Digestive diseases and sciences. 2003 Jul;48(7):1201-5. . Across the globe, a huge number of people squat, either because they don’t have a toilet or because they use facilities specially designed for squatting.
The Wellbeing Toilet is hardly the first product designed to revolutionize our poop routine. But the new toilet is likely the only bathroom product that can also analyze urine for nutritional deficiencies and diseases, and can even tell a woman if she’s pregnant.
The toilet, which won a contest run by a U.K. plumbing company, is still in the idea phase and probably won’t be available to the public for a while (if ever). As for those having trouble in the number-two department who don’t want to refurbish their bathroom, there’s still hope. Some doctors simply suggest putting the feet up on a stool or a stack of phone books while sitting on a regular toilet. Just don’t get too… anal about it.