Eating standing up: because it’s bad for your health

Eating standing up: because it's bad for your health


The reduced times and the frenetic daily life nowadays mean that even the appointment with the basic meals is short. Often, therefore, the lunch break is eaten standing up and quickly.

Eating sitting or standing, therefore the posture during the meal, whether it is lunch or dinner, actually plays a decisive role when it comes to digestion. This is explained by the digestive process: the stomach tends to empty more slowly when a person is sitting or lying down than when standing.

This is also due to the force of gravity. However, there are several negative aspects that characterize the meal eaten standing up such as the accumulation of abdominal gas and related pain, the amount of food introduced, the sense of satiety, and the accumulation of weight given by the previous one.

Eating standing up: negative effects

The undesirable health effects of eating standing up are:

  • Bloating and abdominal gas
  • Unbalanced portions: too abundant or not enough
  • Eat in a hurry
  • Bad digestion
  • Sense of hunger
  • Weight accumulation
  • Feeling of anxiety and frustration

Eating while standing can lead to gas and bloating. When eating standing up, at a physiological level the blood tends to migrate more towards the lower extremities, therefore towards the legs, given the gravity. This leads to a decrease in blood flow to the intestines and stomach, organs responsible for the digestive process. Carbohydrates, which are more complex to digest, will cause more problems and will therefore cause gas and bloating. Even a simple sandwich eaten standing up could swell more than a plate of vegetables served with meat or fish. 

Furthermore, when you eat standing up, you tend to introduce food with greater voracity. The lack of time, above all, leads to ingesting food more quickly, accompanying it with air which is transformed into abdominal gas. 

Not only how, but also how much you eat. Standing up we witness the so-called overeating: that is, we eat too much. The amount of food, in addition to being chewed faster, which therefore results in shorter overall meals, can lead to overeating. 


What about gastric reflux?

For some people, standing while eating can help relieve symptoms of acid reflux, one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders. Gastric reflux occurs when increased pressure in the stomach causes stomach contents (including food, acid, and digestive juices) to back up into the esophagus. This causes symptoms that characterize dust disorder, such as: a burning sensation in the chest (heartburn) or throat, cramps, sour taste in the mouth and frequent burping, among others. And your risk of acid reflux increases when you lie down after eating. This is because, in this supine position, food and acid can easily flow back from the stomach into the throat, which is at the same level. In this case, therefore, the upright position would exert less pressure on the stomach,

Eating standing up and feeling full

Eating standing affects the sense of satiety, i.e. how much food is present in the stomach and is therefore able to fill it to cause extension, after having eaten a meal. At this time, certain signals are sent to the receptors of the brain , which translate into the need or not to eat further. The more the stomach is full and the longer it holds food, the less hunger you will feel . This is the reason that explains why some foods digest faster than others. Complex carbohydrates or foodsprocessed foods, for example, tend to increase hunger compared to foods that take longer to digest, such as fibers and proteins that contribute to a greater sense of satiety. eating standing up reduces the sense of satiety, and this leads to an increase in the amount of food ingested.

Mindful eating: what is it?

Eating with awareness (mindful eating) can help increase pleasure while eating as well as reduce the likelihood of overeating, gaining weight , suffering from a sense of frustration and, more riskily, developing eating disorders . All the senses are involved in the meal experience which becomes more gratifying than ever, non-constrictive and above all non-punitive. You eat slowly, you savor the food without haste, and above all sitting, in front of a set table, allowing yourself the necessary time.



In conclusion, eating standing up can be less filling than a meal eaten sitting down. This has negative consequences for the well-being of the body, those of: eating more, accumulating intestinal gas and abdominal swelling , eating faster and foods that are even less balanced, but available immediately. However, eating while standing can be beneficial for people with acid reflux and heartburn .



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