When I moved from working in an advertising agency into publishing, my first job was at Discover Magazine ( at the time it was owned by The Walt Disney Company). Still a fan of the book 14 years later a ran across a story today that made me realize that sometimes scientists have too much time on their hands. Since we all need a little break from the wars, traitors, and politics I am writing about it below(and I guess the fact that I am sharing it with you all says something about me and too much time also).
This piece, a summary of a peer-reviewed scientific study appearing in GUT: The International Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology is meant to answer this very important science question which keeps many laymen up many a night “Is it Easier to Fart While Standing Up or Lying Down.” Or as the peer reviewed Journal called the study ” The Influence of body posture on intestinal transit of gas.”
How did the scientists conduct the study..Why, by blowing their intestines up with
gas and measuring how much they farted, of course!
Influence of body posture on intestinal transit of gas.
“BACKGROUND: Patients describe that body posture may affect their
abdominal bloating, distension, and flatulence, but whether changes in
position have objectively demonstrable effects, either beneficial or
deleterious, has not been investigated. Aim: To determine the effect of
body posture, upright versus supine, on intestinal transit of gas loads.
SUBJECTS: Eight healthy subjects without gastrointestinal symptoms.
METHODS: In each subject a gas mixture was continuously infused into
the jejunum (12 ml/min) for three hours, and gas evacuation, clearance
of a non- absorbable gaseous marker, perception, and abdominal girth
were measured. Paired studies were randomly performed in each subject on
separate days in the upright and supine positions.
RESULTS: In the upright position, intestinal gas retention was much
smaller than when supine (13 (52) ml v 146 (75) ml retention at 60
minutes, respectively; p
CONCLUSION: Body posture has a significant influence on intestinal
gas propulsion: transit is faster in the upright position than when
So America, my old friends at Discover Magazine have the answer…if you are feeling a bit gassy..stand up and be counted (but if you are standing near me–a little warning would be nice).