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Chewing gum makes you stand up straighter

Illustration for article titled Chewing gum makes you stand up straighter

It's well-established folk wisdom that you can't walk and chew gum at the same time. But it's a very different story if you're working on your posture. In that case, chewing gum is actually the best thing you can do.

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That's the finding of a recent study about the effect of chewing gum on people's "postural stability during upright standing." The researchers got in twelve subjects who were asked to stand on a force platform, which is a special device that can measure how much a person really moves while trying to stand still.

As the researchers explain, postural stability markedly increased when people were chewing gum - or, as the study insists on referring to it "mastication of chewing gum", which can be a rather amusing phrase if you're as immature as we are:

"We found that the postural stability tended to enhance during mastication of chewing gum. The rectangle area of the COP trajectory significantly diminished in the gum-condition and significantly enlarged in the post-condition. A similar effect was observed in the maximum velocity and standard deviation (SD) of the fore-aft amplitude of the COP trajectory. The values were significantly smaller in the gum-condition compared to those in the post-condition. These findings suggest that mastication of chewing gum affects the postural control by enhancing the postural stability during upright standing."

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So there you go - if you need to stand upright for awhile, be sure to get some gum first. Your postural stability will thank you.

[via NCBI ROFL]

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DISCUSSION

Actually, Alasdair, the folk wisdom is that if you cannot walk and chew gum at the same time, you are either a) intellectually challenged or b) a Vice President of the United States of America.

In neither case does the folk wisdom imply that one of even limited capacity should not be perfectly capable of perambulating and masticating simultaneously.

Just thought I'd clear that up and try out my new thesaurus while I was at it.

Cheers.