These days it’s fairly common knowledge that our seated ‘toilet posture’ accounts for a number of health issues. Humans were not designed to ‘sit’ on a loo. We were all squatters and even today over 50% of the world are without sit on toilets. This week is about those of us with the luxury of a sit on toilet that may wish to consider a toilet accessory that looks good and actually does you good too. It’s primarily about the way we sit when we use the toilet for no. 1s and 2s.
But, this idea and the proven benefits is not anything new – it’s just that toilet manufacturers and accessory designers haven’t appeared to be interested in manufacturing or offering it as a standard option for your bathroom design, or more importantly for ensuring your better health and wellbeing when buying their products. As a senior consultant in the field once said to me, ‘It’s about the bottom line,’ to which I replied, ‘Yes, rather than the bottom itself.’ The excuse that it doesn’t make them enough money to produce such a thing is easily dismissed by the likes of the ‘SharkTank‘ start up ‘SquattyPotty‘ and subsequent start ups like TUSHY who also that also produce ‘standalone’ accessories, the idea being ‘To enable you to, lift you legs, mimicking a squat and in doing so straightening the kink in your sigmoid colon (the lower part of your colon) to go with the flow!’ SquattyPotty alone has a turnover iro $30million pa. The global sales figures and demand for enabling yourself to ‘squat on the toilet’ while sitting should be proof positive to manufacturers that this needs to go from ‘stand alone’ to ‘standard option’ for both floor and wall mounted toilets, either as part of their initial design or a retro fit.
Foot stools such as SquattyPotty’s and ‘TUSHY’s ‘Ottoman’ are functional, well designed solutions to helping numerous people with conditions such as; straining, haemorrhoids (piles) and/or constipation, hernias and pelvic organ disorders incl. prolapse, or worse, colon cancer and even heart attacks. Quite simply, ignoring the taboo on toilet talk, we probably all know someone who just isn’t always happy or finding it that easy to go to the loo all the time.
Background. Let’s rewind to three years ago. While sitting on a coach en route to Cardiff for a meeting, Mark Hendriksen was reading Giulia Enders‘ groundbreaking book, ‘The Gut‘ as a follow on from a sourdough baking course and interest in how, ‘The human body contains trillions of microorganisms to the extent of outnumbering human cells by 10 to 1.‘ Quite early on in the book he read about the ‘squat vs sit‘ and had a ‘eureka’ moment as he noticed the coach seat had a pull out foot bar on which to lift you feet. The thought was, ‘Why not design a foot bar that could be integrated aesthetically and practically into any sit down toilet.‘ The key point at that moment in time was that although sketches and ideas flowed, Mark was really focussed on doing some children”s books at that particular moment – and this was going to need a lot of research.
To cut to the chase, designs was drawn up, patent searches took place and eventually various patents pending were established. During the journey to achieve all of that, the likes of ‘SquattyPotty’ came to light and from there on the major part of Mark’s days have been taken up with loos & no. 2s. At this precise moment in time Mark has 4 children’s books on the subject ready for publication, and as is notable from this post, is writing about the stuff every week.
But, what about the patents pending? The important and unique USP about these patents and the design is that they’re like any of your regular bathroom fittings, i.e. chrome, sleek, functional, attractive and flow with the design of practically every toilet. You don’t have to hide them if friends or family come round, they don’t take up additional bathroom space, are easy to clean and hygienic, plus, and it’s a big plus, ‘As a fitted accessory can be used in any office, hospital, public toilet etc.’ That makes it effectively usable anywhere there’s a toilet, and that’s a huge leap forward for healthcare. It provides huge potential cost savings for related health issues.
The other positive impact is that since their first appearance when the flush toilet was invented in 1596 but didn’t become widespread until 1851, ‘It would be changing the function of the toilet for good, and significantly‘ as did sanitation, sewer treatment and management. The earliest sitting toilets were invented by the Mesopotamians, then Romans and others who got people sitting 1000s of years ago. But especially then, and certainly back in 1851 when the first flush toilets appeared, ‘who and where was the healthcare expertise, specialist or organisation that confirmed it was better to sit than squat and there would be no health issues by doing so?‘
At the end of the day we’re simply trying to save everyone’s arse. There’s a lot more on the subject than this short article can address and expand on, but suffice to say we’d love to hear from anyone who may be interested in these patents pending and their potential future place in every bathroom/wc, be it private or public. We’ll catch up on the usual look at this weeks best articles during the coming days.