If You Must Often Take a Seat, Swing Your Feet
A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago suggests continuously moving while sitting at your desk – fidgeting – has a positive effect on metabolism, boosting metabolic rate more than either sitting or standing. Results of this study were recently published in the journal Work.
Numerous studies have shown that sitting at a desk all day increases waist size and heart disease risk. To fight the harmful effects of sitting, many employers have implemented strategies like company-wide yoga and walking breaks, lunchtime activities, and treadmill and/or standing desks for employees. In this latest study, researchers compared the effects of sitting at a desk, sitting at a desk fitted with a movable footrest that allows the feet to swing and move, and standing at a desk. Study participants moved through 15-minute stages of sitting, sitting with the device, and standing, while researchers collected metabolic and heart data during each stage.
According to researchers, using a desk fitted with the moving device raised metabolic rate 7 percent more than standing and 17 percent more than just sitting and did not have any impact on cognitive abilities. This effect, called non-exercise active thermogenesis, or NEAT, could have a positive impact on health.