Fitness

Are ‘Standing Jeans’ Bad For Your Stomach? A Gut Specialist Weighs In

expanding waistline

Do you own a pair of standing jeans? You know, the jeans that are so stiff and tight that you only wear them to events where you plan to stand the whole night. With over 3 million views on TikTok, #StandingJeans have been around since rigid denim entered the fashion world, but now there’s a new name for it.

Essentially, standing jeans are the equivalent of the old adage “beauty is pain.” But at what cost? Tight pants have historically been a big no-no for your health. “Skinny Pant Syndrome,” for example, is a real medical condition (called meralgia paresthetica) that causes numbness as the result of nerve damage in the thigh. So, while skinny jeans are so 2019, standing jeans might not be any better for you.

That’s why POPSUGAR spoke with Erin Hendriks, MD, a physician who focuses on specialty care for chronic gastro conditions at Salvo Health about how standing jeans can impact your stomach and how to prep your body for a night out in rigid denim.

What Are Standing Jeans vs. Sitting Jeans?

Standing jeans is a term used to describe pants that look and feel great, as long as you don’t sit down. It’s the pair of jeans that leaves imprints on your skin at the end of the night. On the other hand, sitting jeans have a little more wiggle room — literally. “These are the jeans you can still eat in,” a TikTok user describes. If you’re shopping and not sure which type of jeans you’re looking at, try the “sit test” which is exactly as it sounds. Simply put the pants on and sit down in those bad boys. If you feel that waist band slice into your lower abdomen — you know you’ll be standing for the remainder of the evening.

Do Tight Pants Put Additional Stress on the Stomach and Intestines?

If you experience frequent gas or bloating after a meal you will likely experience more discomfort if you’re wearing clothing that restricts the abdomen from expanding. “Tight pants can put pressure on the abdomen pushing the stomach and intestines upward towards the esophagus. This can increase the likelihood of acid reflux and heartburn,” Dr. Hendriks says.

Those with irritable bowel syndrome or other chronic gut conditions can experience a worsening of symptoms with tighter clothing — but ultimately it depends on how you’re feeling that day. “People who suffer from chronic gastrointestinal conditions like IBS often have good days and bad days,” she says. “While there is no contraindication to wearing tight clothing when you have IBS, if you are already experiencing bloating or abdominal discomfort, then tight jeans may make you feel worse.”

Is There a Way to Recover From Standing Jeans?

If you plan to wear a tight fitting outfit to a particular event, you may want to avoid foods ahead of time that are more likely to cause bloating such as garlic, onions and green leaf vegetables, says Dr. Hendriks. You may also want to avoid foods that trigger heartburn, considering that it may be more likely to occur when wearing tight fitting clothing.

“When it comes to gut health it is important to listen to your body. You know yourself best,” she said. “There are recommendations for taking care of your gut that are universal, such as consuming a wide variety of whole plant foods, moving your body regularly, and getting enough sleep. Then there are the recommendations that are more personalized, and vary from person to person, such as whether tight jeans trigger symptoms or not.” At the end of the day, if “standing jeans” are only worn occasionally it likely won’t lead to significant healths problems. However, if your go-to outfit includes clothing that restricts digestion, you may end up facing more lasting effects. So go forth and sit test!

Image Source: Peter Dazeley / Getty