Squatting over a public toilet is actually worse than sitting down – here’s why

When it comes to public toilets, there’s a broad spectrum.

Unfortunately, many feature at the ‘seventh circle of hell’ end.

Which is why, as women, many of us prefer to hover delicately over the toilet seat (if, indeed, there even is one) rather than make contact.

But it turns out squatting could be doing us more harm than sitting down, and may in fact INCREASE our chances of catching a nasty infection.

So why is squatting so harmful?

"The problem with ‘hovering’ over the toilet when urinating is that the muscles of your pelvic floor and pelvic girdle – your hip rotators, glutes, back and abs – are extremely tense," women’s health therapist, Brianne Grogan told The Conversation .

"This pelvic girdle tension makes it difficult for urine to flow easily, often requiring you to push or ‘bear down’ slightly to make the urine come out quickly.

"Frequent pushing or bearing down to urinate can contribute to pelvic organ prolapse."

By hovering, we may also not be emptying our bladder properly which in turn could lead to cystitis.

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What is it we should be doing instead then?

Apparently, it’s perfectly safe to sit down, as there’s very little risk of getting an infection by doing so.

"Most intestinal diseases involve hand-to-mouth transfer of bacteria as a result of faecal contamination of hands, food and surfaces," clinical mircobiologist at the University of Leicester, Dr Freestone, adds.

We also have two handy forms of protection against infection.

Firstly, our bodies comes with a layer of good bacteria and yeast that "functions as a highly effective protective shield".

Then secondly there’s the immune system, which Dr Freestone describes as being "ferociously good" at protecting against nasty bugs.

So next time you find yourself in a public toilet, plonk yourself down on the seat. And maybe take anti-bacterial wipes too, just in case.

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