A new study has found that fidgeting may protect you from the nefarious effects of prolonged sitting. These include developing obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol levels, high blood sugar levels, and even certain types of cancer.
• The problem with prolonged sitting is not just that people lead a sedentary life at work, but at home, too.
• Some say people should try sitting at their desk, however this may prove to be inconvenient.
• Movements as simple as clicking pens might help counteract the effects of prolonged sitting.
• Mortality rates among office workers who fidget are lower than those among office workers who don’t.
But while fidgeting may help improve your health, the research team warns that it only plays a small role in the big picture. Regularly going to the gym or joining a sports team should still be your main source of physical activity.
Many recent studies have pointed out how office workers who sit in a chair the entire day are in danger of developing a long list of illnesses. What’s worse, modern day people don’t just lead sedentary lifestyles at work, but at home too. When most of us leave the office, we get out of our office chairs and sit down in our cars, drive home, and sit down in front of the computer or the TV.
Some health experts have advised office workers to try sitting at their desk for about two (2) hours each day, but depending on the tasks we have to perform, some people find this easier to do than others. The monitor is not set at eye level and if you work in a room with windows (which you most likely do) sunlight will pretty much always make it impossible for you work if your monitor is set at a creative angle.
However, UK researchers may now have found a more accessible “physical exercise” that people can perform while sitting down and writing their emails, reports, articles and stories – fidgeting. It’s quick, simple, and it allows you to comfortably carry out your tasks.
Active sitting can be described as including a number of activities such as clicking pens repeatedly, wiggling in your chair, jiggling your feet around, and so on.
To reach these conclusions, the research team looked at 14.000 women, all in the 35 to 69 age range all living in Great Britain. The researchers first surveyed the subjects on their eating habits, then presented with another questionnaire related to their health habits, chronic disease, levels of physical activity, and fidgeting
The goal of the study was to investigate whether or not a sedentary lifestyles increases an individual’s chances of experiencing early death, when all other factors are accounted for. The results showed that the mortality rates only went up in the group of subjects associated with the lowest levels of fidgeting.
Janet Cade, co-lead author and field expert from the University of Leeds, admitted that further studies need to be conducted to reinforce these results, however she also gave a statement saying that “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”.
The findings were published earlier this week, on Wednesday (September 23, 2015), in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.
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