Is It OK to Eat Standing Up?

It may be healthier to work on your feet for part of the day. Does that go for eating, too? Find out if it's better to eat standing up or sitting down.

Couple Enjoying Lunch Date In Delicatessen RestaurantShutterstock / Monkey Business Images
Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images

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?

The Trend

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.

Standing

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?)

The Takeaway

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.

And when you are out and about, grab a healthy snack like our mocha pumpkin seeds or on-the-go granola bars instead of something you’ll just power through.

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.

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Jacqueline Weiss
Jacqueline is a blogger and writer, passionate about sharing the latest in helpful tips and trends in food and cooking. In her spare time, you’ll find her trying new restaurants and experimenting in the kitchen.