Sitting has become the new smoking, the latest health issue everyone is trying to find a solution to. It makes desk jockeys uneasy – which ironically, could be the answer to ‘sitting too much’.
New research suggests some portion of the negative effect of sitting can be countered by moving a bit while seated – meaning fidgeting could be good for your health.
While physical activity outside of the office never hurts, at least one recent study showed that continuously sitting for 15 or more hours per day cancels out many of those exercise benefits.
“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,” said Professor Janet Cade, a researcher at the School of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Leeds, in a statement.
Data was taken from the UK Women’s Cohort Study on 12,778 women between the ages of 37 and 78, as well as follow-up data gained from surveys sent to women over 16 years.
Women who sat still for at least 7 hours a day showed an increased mortality rate of 30%, while those who fidgeted and moved around showed no raise in mortality rate.
Fidgeting does help balance a heavy sitting lifestyle, but researchers suggest monitoring how long you’re sitting a day, and try to cut it down creatively. Ergonomic choices like a standing desk could be a boon to your health.