Men shouldn't stand to pee, but sit like Germans do, urologist says

A senior urologist claims that men should not urinate standing up but should instead sit down. Here, the Germans might have the right idea.

 Illustrative image of urinals. (photo credit: PXHERE)
Illustrative image of urinals.
(photo credit: PXHERE)

This might sound embarrassing for many of you, but according to a senior British urologist, the correct way to pee isn't by standing, but by sitting on the toilet.

That's what urological surgeon Gerald Collins of the Alexandra Hospital in Cheshire, England, said in an interview with the Uk paper The Telegraph, following a YouGov poll on male urination habits.

The poll surveyed over 7,000 men from 13 different countries around the world. Unsurprisingly, most of them said they stay standing up while relieving themselves and emptying their bladders.

But there were some cultural differences uncovered in the poll. Most notably, 40% of German men said they exclusively peed while sitting down, compared to just 10% of American men.

Do German men pee better?

And according to Collins, the Germans are correct.

 Urinals (illustrative) (credit: PEXELS)
Urinals (illustrative) (credit: PEXELS)

"Sitting is probably the most efficient way of doing it," Collins told The Telegraph. This is because while sitting, the pelvic muscles and spine relax, which makes peeing easier and helps you fully empty the bladder.

This also makes it very easy for older men – which is important considering how common prostate problems become with age, especially enlarged prostates. This condition affects 80% of men aged 80 and older, 70% of men in their 60s, and 40% of men in their 50s. It occurs when the prostate and surrounding tissue enlarges, blocking the urethra.

Despite this, the YouGov poll found that older men tended to avoid sitting down to pee, likely due to a belief that doing so is less "masculine" than standing. 

For example, 35% of American men over the age of 55 said they never sat down to pee, compared to just 21% of 18- to 24 year olds.

This perception also exists in Germany, where a derogatory slur exists for those who sit down to pee: Sitzpinkler.

However, the culture in Germany is shifting. In fact, there are now initiatives to place warnings in public toilets to prevent men from standing while peeing. According to The Telegraph, one such initiative is the voice of former German chancellor Angela Merkel criticizing would-be standing urinators whenever they lift the toilet seat in some public toilets.

Part of the reason for this is that when someone pees while standing, it could end up splashing onto the floor. 

One study found that the "splashback" from urine could ricochet off the toilet and end up flying as much as three meters away. This is because peeing while standing actually makes the pee come out faster. 

Flushing the toilet also causes issues, with a previous study from Colorado Boulder University highlighting the spread of germs caused by flushing a toilet without the lid on.

Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.