By: Jean Lilquist
Did your parents ever tell you to stop fidgeting? Do you ever say that to your own children? Well, in addition to the studies that showed that people who fidget are leaner and more fit, new research shows that an inability to sit still can help you live longer.
Studies published in several medical journals report the same thing: that the negative effects of sitting for long periods of time can be offset by shifting, shaking, or moving in your seat. Researchers in the UK categorized thousands of women as low, middle, or high frequency fidgeters. They found that sitting for long periods of time (defined as seven hours or more) was associated with a 30 percent rise in mortality only for those who fidgeted at a low frequency.
A study published in the American Journal of Physiology Heart and Circulatory Physiology reported on a test done on 11 healthy college students who were instructed to sit for three hours in front of a desk, keeping one leg perfectly still while moving the other leg (specifically they were to tap their heel against the ground for one minute and then stay still for four). The blood flow through a major artery in their legs was measured before the test began, and over the course of the test researchers discovered that in the stationary leg the blood flow declined steeply while in the other leg it rose. The most startling discovery came at the end when they compared the test results to the original measures, and found that the blood vessel in the stationary leg no longer worked as well as it had when it was first measured.
This article is reprinted from H.O.P.E. Lifeline (January, 2017) - monthly newsletter distributed by H.O.P.E. Click here to view the full newsletter. If you would like to receive the newsletter by e-mail each month, you may subscribe today (no cost or obligation and you may unsubscribe at any time).