By Sean Zucker –
It may be tough these days to identify purely masculine actions. There is one that remains executed, if not enjoyed, solely by men: urinating while standing up. Unfortunately, even this traditional activity may now be under threat, thanks to research suggesting the practice might not be healthy. Specifically, it warns that standing while urinating increases the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Leiden University in the Netherlands threw this warning after studying the benefits and drawbacks of popping a squat to pee. Its analysis examined more than 2,300 other studies over 25 years involving urodynamic research, which assesses how the bladder and urethra are performing when storing and releasing urine.
The team concluded that sitting down was the most efficient and beneficial way to urinate. The researchers found that sitting down allows men to evacuate the bladder quicker and more fully than standing while helping to minimize the risk and severity of prostate and urinary conditions. They also discovered standing activates a person’s pelvis and spine muscles. In contrast, sitting allows a man to share that muscle workload with other areas, lessening the strain on the body.
“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,” Dr. Jesse Mills, a clinical professor at UCLA, told The Thrillist after examining the research.
Prostate.net, a resource providing information on prostate cancer, supports these claims. It adds that as men age, the risk of having an enlarged prostate grows, leading to common urinary tract complications that include urinary frequency, urgency and difficulty fully emptying the bladder. Prostate.net confirms that sitting while peeing can help alleviate these symptoms.
It’s worth noting that despite the common belief that men make a stand while urinating, a fair number are already sitting down whether they realize it’s healthier or not. A recent survey by YouGov, a research group, reports that roughly a quarter of American men have bailed on the traditional peeing method. 23 percent admit to sitting down either every or most time they use the restroom. Canadian men are even more likely to squat, as 35 percent report they sit while urinating.
Many men sit as they age or because of a preexisting medical condition—and good for them, said Mills. “Sitting down is a better option for men with prostate conditions or men, who just can’t stand up for a long time,” he added. “A lot of guys sit to pee if they can’t fully evacuate their bladder.”
There’s another benefit to taking a seat. “Nothing beats whipping it out and letting it rip,” Mills acknowledged. “But if you want to sit down and think about life, it’s a break in your day.”