Often we are told to rise up from our chairs to help offset the health woes associated with sitting too much. But if we want to glean more joy from a meal, says a study in the Journal of Consumer Research, then we’re better off taking a seat.
Researchers from the University of South Florida found that posture influences our taste perception, with food tasting better when we’re sitting down. Holding a standing posture for a few minutes was found to elicit physical stress and mute taste buds, potentially via increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. For instance, study participants who were standing gave a pita chip a less favorable flavor rating than those who sat comfortably in a padded chair while crunching on the chips. It appears that vestibular sense—responsible for balance, posture and spatial orientation—interacts with the gustatory sensory system, which affects taste and flavor.