That Annoying Fidgeting Could Be Good for You

Research shows fidgeting could offset negative effects of hours of sitting
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2015 5:30 PM CDT
Fidgeting while working may annoy coworkers, but it could be good for your health.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

(Newser) – Do you have a bad case of jimmy legs? Are you John Bonham with a pencil and a desktop? Do coworkers lack appreciation for your seated dancing? Just tell them you're doing it for your health. A new study out of the United Kingdom published today found fidgeting may help offset the negative health effects of sitting for long periods of time, Forbes reports. Previous studies have shown sitting for hours at work can take years off your life. Now, a 12-year study of thousands of UK women found those who sat for more than seven hours a day without fidgeting much had a 30% higher chance of death than those who sat for less than five hours, according to the study. But moderate to heavy fidgeters sitting for longer than seven hours saw no such increase.

“Our results support the suggestion that it’s best to avoid sitting still for long periods of time, and even fidgeting may offer enough of a break to make a difference," University of Leeds researcher Janet Cade tells Forbes. Researchers believe fidgeting may increase the metabolism enough to offset all the sitting, but further study is needed. "The findings raise questions about whether the negative associations with fidgeting, such as rudeness or lack of concentration, should persist if such simple movements are beneficial for our health," Cade says in a press release. So keep drumming those fingers and tapping those toes. (Another way to stay healthy while working? Stand up.)

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |