Flashback Friday: How Many Bowel Movements Should You Have & Should You Sit, Squat, or Lean?

Most people have between 3 bowel movements a day and 3 a week, but normal doesn’t necessarily mean optimal. Squatting and leaning can help straighten the anorectal angle, but a healthy enough diet should make bowel movements effortless regardless of positioning.

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I know people are suckers for poop videos! In Diet and Hiatal Hernia ( I talk about the consequences of straining on stool. Hernias are better than Bedpan Death Syndrome, though, like I talked about in the 2nd half of this video. Then there’s diverticulosis (the “ballooning of out-pouchings from your colon”), which I covered in:
• Diverticulosis & Nuts (
• Diverticulosis: When Our Most Common Gut Disorder Hardly Existed (
• Does Fiber Really Prevent Diverticulosis? (

I do have some other older videos on bowel health:
• Stool Size Matters (
• Food Mass Transit (
• Bulking Up on Antioxidants (
• Prunes vs. Metamucil vs. Vegan Diet (
• Breast Cancer and Constipation (

For more on this concept of having “normal” health parameters in a society where it’s normal to drop dead of heart attacks and other such preventable fates, see my video When Low Risk Means High Risk (

More on that extraordinary African data here:
• Dr. Burkitt’s F-Word Diet (
• Our Number One Killer Can Be Stopped (
• One in a Thousand: Ending the Heart Disease Epidemic (

So excited to be able to slip in a plug for Dr. Kahn’s work. His brand of “interpreventional cardiology” can be found at

Have a question about this video? Leave it in the comment section at and someone on the team will try to answer it.

Want to get a list of links to all the scientific sources used in this video? Click on Sources Cited at You’ll also find a transcript and acknowledgements for the video, my blog and speaking tour schedule, and an easy way to search (by translated language even) through our videos spanning more than 2,000 health topics.

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Thanks for watching. I hope you’ll join in the evidence-based nutrition revolution!
-Michael Greger, MD FACLM

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