Being Fidgety Is Good for Your Health

by Daniel Barna
PHOTO:

Merilyn Smith/Getty images

As children, we’re constantly told to sit still, whether it’s by a teacher, a dentist, or our parents; fidgeting is typically seen as a sign of restlessness and unease. But new research suggests that refusing to sit still may actually be good for your health in the long run.

It’s long been proven that prolonged states of inactivity can increase the likelihood of obesity, diabetes, and, in many cases, reduced blood flow. Since most of us are relegated to sitting for extended periods of time during working hours, there must be some way to combat the physical stasis that comes with the regular office job.

By asking 11 healthy college kids to sit at a desk for three hours with one leg still while the other moved for one minute every five minutes, researchers at the University of Missouri found that blood flow in the stationary leg plummeted while blood flow in the active leg rose. They also found that the main artery in the active leg responded much better to shifts in blood pressure than the inactive leg did.

Another study found that men and women averaged about five hours of movement of any kind during a typical day. According to The New York Times, “Current formal activity guidelines advise each of us to complete at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week.” None of the participants in the study met those guidelines.

“Our findings suggest that if you move even a little, that can help your fitness, even if you don’t meet the formal exercise guidelines,” said Robert Ross, co-author of the study and a professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University. To make up for all that inactivity, Ross suggests adding unplanned exercise throughout the day. “Take the stairs; park farther away,” he adds. “But formal exercise is still the best thing you can do for your health.”

Stay active in the Nike Roshe Run Jacquard Sneakers, and let us know what you do to help combat long periods of inactivity.

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