Previous discoveries have proven that sitting down for long periods of time can shorten your life span, however new research finds a simple but strange solution that may assist in getting those years back.
According to the new research, fidgeting could help counteract the effects of the negative health impacts from being seated for prolonged periods of time.
A large scale study based on the health and diet of women who sat down for long periods of time and identified themselves as occasional fidgeters, ran a higher risk of mortality. However, those women who identified themselves as very fidgety people saw little or no health risk from prolonged seating’s.
Given that many adults can spend the majority of their days sitting, fidgeting may represent just enough physical exertion to counteract the known health risks of extended periods of sedentary activity.
The findings may sound odd to anyone who tends to associate fidgeting with nervous behaviour.
“While further research 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,” co-author Janet Cade said in a statement.
So how bad is sitting exactly? Is it so terrible that it’s worth risking looking a little awkward?
Sitting has frequently been referred to as the new smoking in terms of how it can affect the body over time. Long periods of sitting can lead to obesity and metabolic syndrome. It can also mean to increase risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. In fact, one study even found extended sedentary periods meant a nearly 50 percent increase of risk of death from any natural cause.
Given that we spend years in school sitting at our desks often followed by decades in an office planted in front of computer screens for at least eight hours a day, extended periods of sitting are seemingly unavoidable.