China, Life in Asia

The Upside of Squatting


You haven’t really experienced Asia until you’ve experienced a squat toilet, or a squattie pottie. It’s about as glamorous as it sounds! The ceramic toilet bowl [if you’re lucky] is embedded in the floor, and you literally squat over it to do your business. It’s definitely not what I’m used to, and I could probably write a list of complaints on this toilet style as well. But there are advantages to this kind of physical activity required for an every day necessity.

1. Killer leg muscles. Squatting, most likely, 2 to 3 times a day for multiple weeks, months, or years,  can really help sculpt those quads, hamstrings & gluts you’ve been dying for.

2. Amazing balance. Nothing like the fear of falling into your own waste to motivate you into staying upright!

3. Heightened focus on your digestive system. No one LIKES to be constipated, but when you are squatting to relieve yourself, you REALLY don’t want to be stopped up. Good reason to implement the fibers, and other natural regulators.

4. Cleanliness? Oddly enough, I’d make the case that squatties could be cleaner than Western toilets. Why? Because you touch nothing! In a Western toilet, you are opening a bathroom door, a stall door, sitting on a porcelain toilet, grabbing toilet paper from a provided roll, pushing a lever to flush, opening the stall door again, turning on a faucet, drying your hands, and opening the door to leave. With most Chinese public toilets, there’s no door to enter, and no stall door to close. You bring your own toilet paper and you sit on nothing. Sometimes water is automatic, if it’s provided, and if not, hand sanitizer it is. And you’re on your way! Now, if I could just not pee on myself while squatting….

5. Water conservation. I don’t know how much water it takes to flush a Western toilet, but it’s gotta be a lot just based on the size of the toilet bowl alone. Guarantee the amount of water needed to flush it is drastically less than that of a Western toilet. But it’s just a guess.

But I’ll admit it, at the end of long day, sometimes you really just want to sit down to use the bathroom. Not sure I’ll ever change my mind about that.

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