Standing up to pee is one of the greatest gifts granted to men. It’s quick, easy, and let’s be honest, fun. However recent cultural trends have given rise to a sweeping epidemic causing more and more men to sit while peeing.
The last reported data on the issue from 2007 suggested that a whopping 42 per cent of married men sat down to pee, most likely to ensure lowered toilet seats and to avoid the wrath of their fuming wives.
We’d be safe to guess that this percentage has surged past the 50 per cent mark since, due to the fact that this data was collected in an age before smart phones, and men now flock to the restrooms for a quick sit and scroll through Instagram.
“The idea of sitting down to pee is interesting,” said Dr Jesse N. Mills, Associate Clinical Professor at the UCLA Department of Urology when talking to Thrillist. “Nothing beats whipping it out and letting it rip. But if you want to sit down and think about life, it’s a break in your day.”
While evidence suggests that it most certainly is normal to sit down and pee, is it healthy? Yes, and much more so than standing apparently.
According to research from the Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, sitting down to pee allows for ‘a more favourable urodynamic profile’ [translation: the flow is stronger] which helps ward off prostate problems.
The study goes on to suggest that when we stand, we activate muscles around our lower abdomen, pelvis and spine that actually prevent proper urination.
“Sitting down is a better option for men with prostate conditions or men who just can’t stand up for a long time,” said Dr. Mills. “A lot of guys sit to pee if they can’t fully evacuate their bladder. When you sit down, you can use your abdominal muscles more, and you get your last few squirts out and feel like you’ve emptied better.”
The Dutch research project also suggested that further problems with standing also arise as men engage extra pee-stifling muscles while using public toilets. The reason? The muscles engaged to hold in loud and embarrassing farts are also muscles involved in preventing further urination.
Following the results of the study, governments have taken action to instigate cultural change surrounding our habits. Countries such as Sweden and Japan are actively encouraging men to sit while peeing.
So there you have it. If you’re sitting reading this article on the John, rest easy. You’re onto a winner, and your prostate will thank you.