Toilets: To Squat Or Not?

Beijing organizers are refitting the toilets at three main Olympic venues after complaints from foreign athletes about having to squat, an official said Wednesday.

Most toilets in China are still of the squat rather than sit-down variety, as spectators and competitors at recent test events in otherwise state of the art venues like the "Water Cube" aquatics center discovered.

Read more from the Reuters story here...

So, some of you may now be wondering what exactly a "Squat Toilet" is. (We would have been wondering the same had an employee in our old office not displayed a penchant for using the Western "Sitting Toilet", if you will, as a squat toilet. How did we know this? Well, believe it or not, but the outline of footprints on an otherwise clean toilet seat is generally a dead giveaway. But that's neither here nor there.) The answer, my friends, is remarkably simple. A Squat Toilet is a toilet that is used by squatting, as opposed to sitting. Squat Toilets are still remarkably prevalent in many places around the world, including Asia and countries in Eastern Europe. And apparently squat toilets have their benefits!

-They are less expensive than Sitting Toilets and easier to clean and maintain
-The absence of water in the "bowl" avoids the problem of splashing
-And lastly, squatting can reduce the occurrence and severity of hemorrhoids!

That brings us to the end of our lesson today, kids! But should you have a yearning for some more powder room press you can check out last week's story titled, What Does Your Poo Say About You?

And, in other news, the boyfriend of woman who sat on the toilet for two years has been charged with mistreatment of a dependent adult.

So, have you ever used a squat toilet? Do you have a preference between squatting and sitting? If squat toilets are the norm in China, do you think they should be having to change them for the Olympics? Do tell!