Holding back gas or other symptoms results in 338 close calls a year — almost one a day, new research suggests.
The recent survey of 2,000 adults found most of these incidents occur in a dining establishment (47%) or while traveling (47%).
And if you’ve ever had FOMO because of gas and bloating, you’re not alone. In fact, 34% of people have abandoned birthday parties and dinner parties due to the discomfort caused by these symptoms.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Gas-X, the survey also found that gas is not only affecting Americans socially, but also in their professional lives. With the topic of returning to work on the top of everyone’s mind, the poll discovered over a quarter (26%) think the worst place to accidentally experience gas is during a work meeting or professional outing.
“You’re on mute,” is a phrase that has become common during virtual meetings – often considered a technology faux-pas. However, more than half (55%) of Americans have admitted that they have purposefully muted themselves in a virtual meeting to relieve symptoms of gas!
While a completely normal bodily function, most survey respondents agreed that they consider gas (68%) to be more embarrassing than finding food in their teeth (44%), something in their nose (49%) or even having their zipper down (43%).
Additionally, 55% of respondents said that they try to stifle their gas symptoms more in the summertime compared to other times of the year. Seven in 10 (68%) people said they socialize more in the summer and don’t want others to notice their gas and/or hiccup.
When experiencing symptoms of gas or other bodily functions in public, 26% of people have pretended it didn’t happen or attempted to prevent it from happening.
“It might be embarrassing, but passing gas is a completely healthy and normal function of our digestive systems and stifling gas, can cause pain due to increased pressure on your gut,” said Jennifer Lo, Associate Brand Manager for Gas-X. “While nearly half (49%) of those polled reported eating and drinking slowly to try to avoid gas and heartburn symptoms, and the same amount steered clear of carbonated beverages, these methods aren’t always foolproof.”
While many may be embarrassed of passing gas, most people don’t consider it a relationship deal-breaker. In fact, 24% would just give their date a look, 23% said they’d joke about it and 19% would pretend nothing happened. Even more, the average person is comfortable enough to stop holding in gas after about six dates. And while 44% have had an evening of love ruined by their own gas or heartburn, a similar amount (43%) pointed the finger at a partner.
“Whether preparing for a friendly outing, an important meeting or a night of romance, having over-the-counter symptom-relief can come in handy for alleviating gas, bloating and heartburn,” Lo added.
WHAT ARE PEOPLE MOST EMBARRASSED ABOUT DOING IN PUBLIC?
Passing gas - 68%
Having something in their nose - 49%
Hiccupping - 46%
Burping - 45%
Finding food in their teeth - 44%
Snorting - 44%
Sweating - 44%
Discovering their zipper is down - 43%
6.5 “close calls” a week holding back gas or other symptoms x 52 weeks = 338 “close calls” a year.