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science alert

 

Finally, a good excuse for all your annoying foot-tapping.

FIONA MACDONALD
25 SEP 2015

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past five years, we have some bad news for you: sitting down for the majority of the day is bad for you. And we’re talking really, life-shorteningly, scientifically verified bad for you. But a new study of more than 12,000 women in the UK suggests that by fidgeting in our seats, we might be able to counteract some of those harmful health impacts – without having to go out and invest in a standing desk.

The research followed women aged between 37 and 78 over a 12-year period, and collected information on their diets, exercise regimes, health, and, on a scale from one to 10, how much they fidgeted. The results showed that the women who sat for 7 hours a day or more were 30 percent more likely to die during the study than their more active peers – but not if they were rampant fidgeters.

The study was only based on women self-rating the amount that they fidget while sitting down, so it’s definitely not conclusive, because it’s highly likely that many people would classify themselves as habitual fidgeters when they barely move, and vice versa. But this is the first study of its kind, and the results are interesting enough to prompt further research into the link between fidgeting and the damage of sitting.

 

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