‘I’m a Pelvic Floor Expert, and This Easy Mistake Is Terrible for Your Bladder Health’

Kells McPhillips

Written by guest writer: Kells McPhillips・November 5, 2020

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Proper posture when you’re sitting on the toilet to do your business is just as consequential as, say, sitting up straight at your desk. Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas, PT, DPT, a pelvic floor physical therapist with Greater Boston Urology, says learning how to sit on the toilet properly can promote bladder health and help your stream come more easily (no, really).

In a TikTok video posted to her personal account, “scrambledjam,” Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas offers a full primer on the “potty posture” lesson you’ve been to hear since you were in diapers. Below, you can read up on her best four tips below before you head off to the bathroom.

How to sit on the toilet properly, according to a pelvic floor therapist

1. Never hover over the toilet—sit down

When you’re using a public bathroom, you may opt for squatting over sitting. Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas wants you to fight that urge (even if it means toilet-papering the seat beforehand). According to the doc, your pelvic floor can’t fully relax if you’re hovering just above the seat. So sit down, and let it flow.

2. Use a toilet stool if you have one

As colon hydrotherapist Joyce Rockwood of Los Angeles’ The Springs previously told Well+Good, “The worst position to be in while you’re on the toilet is with your feet on the floor. You should be simulating a squatting posture so your puborectalis muscle opens and the bowel movement can drop out of the body. When you have your feet off the ground, you’ll notice how easy it is to eliminate.” It also helps if you’re just urinating.

3. Sit up straight while you’re on the throne

I know you want to curl over your phone and scroll through Instagram—but now is just not the time. Sit up straight so that your pelvic floor will naturally engage while you’re in the bathroom.

4. Do not push to pee

If you’re trying to make your pee break as fast as possible, you may want to push, push, push—but that’s actually not great for your pelvic floor in the long-run fam. “A healthy bladder works best if the body just relaxes so that the bladder muscles naturally contract to let the urine flow, rather than using the abdominal muscles to bear down as with a bowel movement,” says Yale Medicine. If you’re impatient waiting for all that to happen naturally, Dr. Jeffrey Thomas says you can put your elbows on your knees and circles your torso around to help the pevlic floor relax.

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