Could Fidgeting Offset Harms of Prolonged Sitting?
Fidgeting could counteract the risk of all-cause mortality associated with excessive time spent sitting during the day, according to a recent study.
While previous research has shown an association between time spent sitting during the day and all-cause mortality, the effects of fidgeting—small, restless movements—are unknown.
Prolonged Sitting Associated with Higher All-Cause Mortality Rates
Sitting All Day May Have Severe Long-Term Consequences
To further examine this relationship, researchers analyzed data from a cohort study conducted between 1999 and 2002 in which 12,778 women between 37 and 78 years old provided data on daily sitting times, levels of fidgeting, and other factors including diet, physical activity levels, and smoking status.
Overall, researchers found that sitting for more than 7 hours a day was associated with a 30% increase in all-cause mortality risk in women who only fidgeted occasionally, while researchers observed no increased risk in women in the moderate and high fidgeting groups.
“More detailed and better-validated measures of fidgeting should be identified in other studies to replicate these findings and identity mechanisms, particularly measures that distinguish fidgeting in a seated from standing posture,” they concluded.
Haggar-Johnson G, Gow AJ, Burley V, et al. Sitting time, fidgeting, and all-cause mortality in the UK women’s cohort study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2015 September 23 [epub ahead of print]. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2015.06.025