health

New research shows that there's one thing that can combat the negative effects of sitting down all day.

Image via iStock.

Sitting on our bums all day at work is our health’s biggest enemy. It increases our risk of diabetes, heart disease, different types of cancer, high blood pressure and obesity. Plus, it can impact on your mental wellbeing and can also dramatically increase your risk of dying early.

Morbid, huh? But there could be hope on the horizon for office workers. A team of researchers from the University of Leeds and UCL found that, for people who do sit down for long periods of time, those who fidget have increased mortality compared with those who don’t.

While as a child you may have been told by every grown up to “stop fidgeting”, it turns out all that toe tapping, leg stretching and playing with your hair can pay off.

Fidgeting could be the answer to combating the negative health effects of sitting down all day. (Image via iStock.)

The study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine  gathered information from women aged between 37 and 78 over a 12 year period on their diets, exercise regimes, health, and, on a scale from one to 10, how much they fidgeted.

The results showed that the women who sat for seven hours a day or more were 30 per cent more likely to die during the study than their more active peers - but not if they were active fidgeters. (Post continues after gallery.)

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"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," Professor Janet Cade, study co-lead author, said in a press release.

The study adds to recent evidence that sitting down all day has multiple negative consequences for our health - even if we exercise regularly and get eight hours of sleep a night.

(Image via iStock.)

"Our results support the suggestion that it's best to avoid sitting still for long periods of time, and even fidgeting may offer enough of a break to make a difference." Dr Gareth Hagger-Johnson, one of the study's co-lead authors explained.

It's important to note that the study was based on women self-rating their fidgeting habits so the findings aren't conclusive, but with the average Aussie estimated to sit for between eight to 12 hours a day - it's certainly something to think about.

Are you a fidgeter?