Passing Gas Mid-Flight Is Good For Your Health, Doctors Find

airplane seatsA new study from a group of New Zealand physicians has confirmed something we’re rather certain most people would rather not know: it’s not only OK, but preferred, that passengers pass gas mid-flight.

Breaking wind has health benefits, the study finds, and the benefits of breaking wind mid-air outweigh the health effects of holding it in.

Anecdotal evidence in the survey, originally reported on by the Associated Foreign Press and reprinted on News 24, shows that flying increases one’s likelihood of passing gas (a natural phenomenon that already happens, on average, ten times per day).

The study was led by Danish gastroenterologist Jacob Rosenberg, who published a 3,000-word article in the New Zealand Medical Journal last week.

“(Holding back) holds significant drawbacks for the individual, such as discomfort and even pain, bloating, dyspepsia (indigestion), pyrosis (heartburn) just to name but a few resulting abdominal symptoms,” the study found. “Moreover, problems resulting from the required concentration to maintain such control may even result in subsequent stress symptoms.”

When should you not pass gas? When you’re part of the cockpit crew, the study finds.

“On the one hand, if the pilot restrains a fart, all the drawbacks previously mentioned, including impaired concentration, may affect his abilities to control the plane,” the researchers said. “On the other hand, if he lets go of the fart, his co-pilot may be affected by its odour, which again reduces safety onboard the flight.”

We’re only quoting the article here, folks.

One positive? Textile seats used in coach are more likely to “absorb” odors produced than leather seats in most first and business class cabins.

“We humbly propose that active charcoal should be embedded in the seat cushion, since this material is able to neutralise the odour,” the study found.

We’re pretty certain that, as passengers, we’d like you to hold in your gassy in-flight moments, regardless of health concerns. What do you think?

[Image Credit: sbamueller]