In cultures and countries where there are no modern toilet bowls and toilet seats, people stoop over a hole in the ground to defecate.
In Taiwan, some modern hotels have toilets without toilet seats. Guests defecate by stooping over a hole in the floor of the bathroom.
Many traditional Chinese doctors recommend stooping as a regular exercise. They say that stooping for 10 to 15 minutes a day strengthens the legs and the waist. In villages in Africa, China, Southeast Asia and Latin America, tribal village people stoop as a natural way of sitting because they do not have chairs.
Stooping facilitates defecation. Some doctors of Chinese medicine have said that modern Western style toilet seats do not facilitate defecation. They recommend stooping to defecate.
Stooping is also said to improve cardiovascular function, stabilize blood pressure, regulate internal secretion or the endocrine system, and stimulate metabolism. Stooping also strengthens knee joint function, and forestalls the onset of ageing of the knees. It also contributes to the prevention of hemorrhoids, inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis), kidney stone formation, constipation, and straining of the lumbar muscles, according to claims by traditional Chinese doctors.
The stooping exercise should be accompanied by inhaling while going down and exhaling while standing back up. Some older people should not stoop all the way down to the point of sitting on one’s lower legs (deep stoop). Instead, older people should bend their knees to an angle less than 60 degrees. Some older people may become dizzy when getting up from a deep stoop.
The movements of bending down and standing up again must be slow and not abrupt.
For senior citizens, the stooping exercise can also be done next to a bed by holding onto a bed frame or next to a door knob by holding on to it for support and balance.