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Why a toilet stool in the bathroom might help relieve constipation

WASHINGTON — Cave men didn’t sit on toilets and bodies are designed for squatting, so doctors believe you may experience medical benefits from having a step stool in your bathroom.

“Propping your feet on a stool changes the angle of your hips to put you in a more optimal squatting position,” Dr. Peter Stanich, assistant professor of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center said in a news release.

Sitting on a toilet bends the rectum. “The straighter that angle is, the easier bowel movements should be,” Stanich said.

A month-long study involving 52 people — 41.1 percent women who had a mean age of 29 years — shows a toilet stool helped a majority of them: 71 percent reported faster bowel movements; 90 percent reported less straining; and after the study, two-thirds said they would continue using toilet stools.

“This study shows that these simple devices can help alleviate symptoms like constipation, bloating and incomplete emptiness, and can help people have more comfortable and effective bowel movements,” Stanich said.

“I think all of us are looking for ways to avoid more medications, or to do things in a more natural way — and this is something that is easy.”

Bathroom toilet stools marketed as the Squatty Potty cost about $20 to $25.

The study involving the use of “defecation posture modification devices” is published in the “Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology.”

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