03 January 2009

Ladies, take a stand!

I detest having to use a public toilet and so have taught myself to stand while relieving myself. It got me to wondering why women sit in western countries; when did this shift from the natural to the convenient occur and whose idea was it in the first place. I came across an article published in Herizons Magazine which has answered my questions.
From the earliest days of childhood, we're separated into two camps: those who sit and those who stand. Yet as recently as 150 years ago, women stood as often as men to relieve themselves and in many countries--India and the Philippines, for example--it is still a widespread and acceptable practice.

The move from standing to sitting has had a lasting impact regarding cleanliness and hygiene, as well as efficiency and comfort. Public restrooms are notorious for germs and general uncleanliness. Denise Decker, director of Caring Hands, writes, in "A Woman's Guide on How to Pee Standing Up", that 59 percent of women hover over the toilet seat to avoid touching it. This leads not only to greater urine spillage, but can contribute to eventual health problems for the hovering woman. Squatting to urinate only empties one-third of the bladder, and the strain required on the striated sphincter, which restricts the urethra, can cause incontinence overtime.

Imagine how much quicker the line in the ladies room would move if we all re-learned how to take a stand - at the stalls!

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