A review on squat-assist devices to aid elderly with lower limb difficulties in toileting to tackle constipation

Proc Inst Mech Eng H. 2019 Apr;233(4):464-475. doi: 10.1177/0954411919838644. Epub 2019 Mar 21.


Constipation is an important issue that has impact on quality of life and health expenses of the elderly. It may lead to many other gastrointestinal disorders like colon cancer, haemorrhoids, anal fissures and so on. Squatting is considered to be the natural, traditional and most widely followed posture for defecation and hence, it is one of the practical solutions for avoiding constipation. Musculoskeletal issues due to ageing and changes in lifestyle make it difficult for the elder population to follow squatting or semi-squatting posture for defecation. Developing assistive devices to overcome older people's difficulty to attain squatting or semi-squatting posture is one of the research areas which need to be explored further. This review covers various designs of such devices which will enable a user to attain 'semi-squatting' posture to defecate and also addresses various challenges and limitations to overcome.

Keywords: Assistive technology; constipation; elder care; rehabilitation; squat-assist; squatting.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Constipation / physiopathology*
  • Constipation / prevention & control
  • Defecation*
  • Equipment Design*
  • Humans
  • Lower Extremity*
  • Posture*
  • Self-Help Devices*