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

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

This is also due to the force of gravity. However, there are several negative aspects that characterize the meal consumed while standing such as the accumulation of abdominal gas and relative pain, the quantity 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 while standing are:

  • Abdominal bloating and gas
  • Unbalanced portions: too abundant or insufficient
  • Eating in a hurry
  • Poor digestion
  • Feeling of hunger
  • Weight accumulation
  • Sense of anxiety and frustration

Eating while standing can primarily cause gas and bloating. When you eat standing up, on a physiological level the blood tends to migrate more towards the lower extremities, therefore towards the legs, given gravity. This leads to a decrease in blood flow to the intestine and stomach, organs responsible for the digestive process. Carbohydrates, which are more complex to digest, will cause greater problems and will therefore cause gas and bloating. Even a simple sandwich eaten standing up could be more filling than a plate of vegetables accompanied by meat or fish.

Furthermore, when you eat standing up, you tend to eat food more greedily. The lack of time, above all, leads to ingesting foods more quickly, accompanying them with air which turns into abdominal gas.

Not only how, but also how much you eat. When standing we witness so-called overeating: that is, we eat too much. The amount of food, in addition to being chewed more quickly, which therefore translates into shorter overall meals, can lead to consuming an excess of food.

What about gastric reflux?

For some people, standing while eating can help relieve the 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 characterizing dusturbo, such as: a burning sensation in the chest (heartburn) or throat, cramps, sour taste in the mouth and frequent belching, among others. And the 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 to the throat, which is at the same level. In this case, therefore, the upright position would put less pressure on the stomach, which translates into less acid reflux and heartburn if you eat standing up.

Eating while standing and feeling of satiety

Eating while standing affects the sense of satiety, i.e. how much food is present in the stomach and is therefore able to fill it and cause extension after consuming a meal. At this moment, some signals are sent to the receptors in the brain which translate into the need or not to eat further. The fuller the stomach is and the longer the time it contains food, the less hungry the feeling will be. This is the reason why some foods are digested more quickly than others. Complex carbohydrates or processed foods, for example, tend to increase hunger compared to foods that take longer to digest, such as fiber and protein that contribute to greater satiety. eating while standing reduces the feeling of satiety, and this leads to an increase in the quantity of food ingested.

Mindful eating: cos’è?

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 rewarding than ever, non-constrictive and above all non-punitive. You eat slowly, you savor the food without rushing, and above all sitting in front of a set table, giving yourself the necessary time.


In conclusion, eating while standing can be less satiating than a meal eaten while sitting. This has negative consequences for the well-being of the organism, those of: eating more, accumulating intestinal gas and abdominal swelling, eating faster and even less balanced foods, but available immediately. However, eating while standing can be beneficial for people who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux and heartburn.

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