How to Use a Squat Toilet With Bad Knees – 4 Amazing Tips

Written by

Paulk Webb


Freddie J. Hagopian

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how to use a squat toilet with bad knees

A squat toilet is a hole on a stepping surface or in the ground for peeing and defecating. When using it, you’ll be obliged to put your knees in a 45-degree angle as your hips and lower legs form an arch.

With this description, you may wonder how to use a squat toilet with bad knees. This concern lies mostly in the elderly population. Just imagine a strenuous position from sitting and rising. Is it suitable for old people and those who have bad knees?

It’s possible as long as one follows and practices the tricks that will be shown in this article.

Proper Ways to Use a Squat Toilet Even With Bad Knees


You should know that squat toilets are found in different corners of the world – Asia, Africa, some parts of Europe, the Middle East, and South America. There’s an El Franco model that is covered by porcelain finishing. But expect other manufacturers that produce this type of toilet just like GladyStore.

Apart from not being familiar, joints, the crackling sound of your bones, torn ligaments, and bad knees may hinder you from using a squat toilet. So, I made this guide for you in case you’ll encounter it.

Be prepared

A squat toilet is low-leveled so it’s important to be prepared. Be careful of your pants and don’t allow the hem to touch the floor. Some would prefer to take off their lower garments. You may also fold the lower parts.

Since you’ll be sitting low, you may need to secure your baggage. This is attending to your handbag or backpack and putting them in place. You’ll also need to take care of what’s inside your pack or else, it will fall as you try to adjust your position.

How to adjust your position

There are many reasons why some individuals need to gently bend their knees to avoid strain and pain. Some may be struggling with arthritis or knee pains. This is also the concern of people who just had knee surgery.

Start by standing over the toilet and putting a gap of a foot between your legs. You have to align your body as you slowly put yourself into a squatting position. It sounds simple but you may feel some pain while doing it.

You can make adjustments by moving forward or backward as you gain the right position over the hole. Another way is facing the toilet or towards its other side. But you have to ensure that the water won’t splash.

The squatting position

Another challenge in using a squat toilet is when you bend your knees. Do it at a 45-degree angle as your bottom faces down and your knees project straight ahead. You’ll need to do this in 90 degrees if you have bad knees.

For additional support when squatting, you can hug your knees. If you find it comfortable, you can push your knees apart. Then, you can do your business successfully. The squatting position presses your stomach in exchange for bowel relief.

Standing from squatting

After you’re done, you need a tissue when you put your hands on the wall as you try to get up. Prolonged squatting may turn your legs and knees numb. Thus, you’ll find support from the wall.

You may press against your knee caps for leverage if the walls are close enough. Exerting pressure will supply relief for cracking knees.

The Final Step

Once you’ve stood up, cleaning follows and here are some tips:

  • You will usually find what you need in the toilet. Tissue is commonly used but you may find a sprayer, a bottle or pot, and leaves in some areas. But it will be wise to carry toilet paper so you won’t need to search when the need arises.
  • The toilet paper should be disposed of properly to prevent clogging just like any toilet. You have to be responsible for not damaging the system. Another reason to get rid of it is to keep off the smell. It’s also fine to throw it in the trash bin.

Read more: Wet wipes vs toilet paper: what is the difference?

  • Use a sanitizer to clean your hands. Some may need to take a bath after their squat toilet experience.
  • It’s an instinct to flush but in some cases, you’ll need more water to clear the waste out. A water bucket will help you ensure flushing everything. When it seems that the lever for flushing is missing, you may search for the foot pedal.

Don’t leave the toilet unless the waste is gone. It won’t be too meticulous when you use a pit latrine though.

Tips for Elderly When Using a Squat Toilet


Adjustments on squatting position and finding support when erecting require your efforts. But there are some things that an elderly and people with bad knees can depend on besides the toilet wall. Here are some things that can alleviate their struggle.

Toilet cover

Toilet covers are portable and they allow you to sit like you’re in the comfort of your home. They can be folded so it will be convenient to carry them around. Cleaning is not too demanding as well. If you’re worried that your knees and legs won’t budge into a squatting position, this is an aid to make it possible. You can find the good ones made by Renashed, DMI, WDSHCR, and Warm-n-Comfy.

Canvas frame seat

This one is made of very light aluminum or paper with a hole in the middle. It is similar to the toilet cover but it comes with a bag where you place your waste for later disposal. You can’t complain when using it as it’s foldable and easy to carry around like an ordinary bag.


A cane is not only used for walking and balance. It will be a great help when you use a squat toilet. Let it balance on one side so you can hold on to it. Despite bad knees, you can move up and down with no trouble due to its help.

Adjustable bars and poles

You may opt for these to gain support when squatting and getting up. They stick wall to wall and can be adjusted. Nonetheless, they can support excessive weight and width.

Final Words to Ponder On

So, how to use a squat toilet with bad knees? Since it’s possible, you have to learn the techniques and helpful tools. Easy as it seems, you need to be careful while you get support from walls and other things mentioned in this article. You don’t need to suffer when using a squat toilet once you know what to do.

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