Fidgeting at your desk might save your life

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There has been loads of research to prove that sitting for long periods of time can be detrimental to our health. But a new study suggests that those who claim to fidget at their desks are less likely to die of causes related to sedentary behaviour.

The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine by Janet Cade, professor of nutritional epidemiology at the University of Leeds, quizzed more than 12,000 women aged 37 to 78 on their fidgeting habits over the course of 12 years. Cade categorised them into low, middle and high fidgeters based on their own assessment of their daily sitting time – be that sitting still, tapping their fingers, or jiggling a leg. Cade also gather information on their diets, exercise regimes and how much they smoked and drank alcohol.

Throughout the course of the study, Cade found that those in the low category who sat for seven or more hours a day were 30% more likely to have died than those who only sat for five hours or less. Meanwhile, those in the middle and high fidgeting groups had no greater risk of death when they sat for long periods of time.

Cade says the findings are only suggestive because the women involved may have misinterpreted their level of fidgeting. She also can’t prove whether their movements are a proxy for another factor that impacts their health. While she believes more research is needed, she says the stigma surrounding fidgeting – that it’s rude and shows a lack of concentration – should be rethought.

What is certain is that a sedentary lifestyle has serious negative effects on health, so regular exercise is key to staying physically fit.

Read the original article from The Guardian at bit.ly/1KujRhM

 

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    Molly Dyson

    Former Editor – PA Life

    All stories by: Molly Dyson