According to a new study, fidgeting throughout the day is good for your health. While it cannot come close to replacing traditional exercise completely, a little bit of fidgeting is a small part of a healthy lifestyle.
Sitting all day is bad for your health, and the same can be also said for standing all day. However, brief moments of fitness, such as fidgeting, are positive influences to your health.
By wiggling in your chair, shuffling your feet, and clicking pens, you are burning some calories, remaining active and maintaining good health.
We humans have experienced a major shift in behavior with our adoption of sedentary office lifestyles. Gone are the days of hunting and gathering, when our species was required to remain extremely active. Now we waste our lives away, sitting at desks and staring at computer screens.
However, fidgeting can assist in this dramatic transition, as it is believed to help our minds cope with our newfound ability to be lazy. Without little actions such as drumming our fingers or kicking our feet, many office-dwellers might have excess levels of energy that would drive our minds crazy.
One study on fidgeting followed 14,000 middle-aged women in Great Britain. Women that reported lower levels of fidgeting had the highest rate of death. Women that fidgeted on a regular basis were found to be more likely to live longer.
Study co-leader from the University of Leeds Janet Cade said, “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.”
This is not the first study to indicate that fidgeting is a healthy practice. One study from 2011 found that “incidental activity”, another phrase for fidgeting, improves one’s overall level of fitness. Meanwhile, another study found that overweight and obese women were less likely to fidget on a regular basis than women of a healthy body weight.
So the next time you find yourself squirming in your seat or tapping your feet, don’t stop; keep going!