Fidgeting Could Help You Live Longer
It’s been pretty well documented that it’s not good for your health to sit all day. But it may help if you don’t sit still.
New research published in the Journal of Preventive Medicine suggests that people who fidget while they’re sitting may be helping themselves live longer.
For their study, researchers at Leeds University and University College London, looked at the Women’s Cohort Study, which initially focused on the eating habits of 35,000 women. In 1999 to 2002, 12,778 women from the study–between the ages 37 and 78–answered a questionnaire about their health behaviors including diet, smoking, chronic illness, physical activity and levels of fidgeting.
After an average of 12 years, researchers followed up on the participants. Their findingsshowed that women who sit for long periods of time but reported being “moderately or very fidgety,” showed no increased risk of mortality as a result of sitting.
The mortality risk only appeared to increase for “very occasional” fidgeters.
According to the American Heart Association, the number of sedentary jobs in the US has increased by 83 percent since 1950; in 1960, people working in physically active jobs represented 50 percent of the workforce, compared with less than 20 percent today.
The researchers said the findings raise questions about whether the negative associations with fidgeting, such as rudeness or lack of concentration, should persist.