It can be hard to keep up with the latest in food trends and eating advice. For example, when are the best times to eat and what do food labels really mean? But what about how you eat your food? Eating on the go is sometimes necessary, but is it really OK to eat while standing up?
Thanks to our fast-paced lives, lots of people stand up while they chow down.
But before we stick to standing, let’s compare our options.
Lying Down and Sitting
In the days of the ancient Greeks and Romans, lying down while being fed was seen as a mark of wealth; today, that position is not typically recommended because it inhibits digestion. In fact, many experts agree it’s best to wait to lie down for at least two hours after eating.
Sitting—whether at a table, desk or couch—is the most common position to eat in. But if you’re mostly sedentary throughout the day, should you experiment with eating standing up? Let’s find out.
Despite generations of parents imploring their kids to sit down during dinnertime, there is no evidence of negative effects that come from eating while standing up. Not only that, there is at least one clear benefit: Standing up promotes energy expenditure, which can mean burning 50 calories more per hour than you would if you were sitting down. (But who takes an entire hour to eat?)
While it seems like your body doesn’t care whether you eat sitting down or standing up, we think the benefits of sitting outweigh those of standing, at least on a regular basis. Sitting encourages you to focus on your food, which can lead to chewing more and eating more slowly. By optimizing your metabolic rate, this allows you to feel fuller faster, potentially decreasing the amount you consume. Plus, you can better connect with friends or family around the table.
Though it’s best to avoid sitting too much, we encourage you to take the time to enjoy your meal, and find the sitting-standing combination that’s right for you.