Fidgeting for your health
(University of Missouri) Previous research has shown that sitting for an extended period of time at a computer or during a long airline flight reduces blood flow to the legs, which may contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease. Now, researchers from the University of Missouri have found that fidgeting while sitting can protect the arteries in legs and potentially help prevent arterial disease.
"Many of us sit for hours at a time, whether it’s binge watching our favorite TV show or working at a computer," said Jaume Padilla, PhD, an assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at MU and lead author of the study. "We wanted to know whether a small amount of leg fidgeting could prevent a decline in leg vascular function caused by prolonged sitting. While we expected fidgeting to increase blood flow to the lower limbs, we were quite surprised to find this would be sufficient to prevent a decline in arterial function."
During the study, the researchers compared the leg vascular function of 11 healthy young men and women before and after three hours of sitting. While sitting, the participants were asked to fidget one leg intermittently, tapping one foot for one minute and then resting it for four minutes, while the other leg remained still throughout. On average, the participants moved their feet 250 times per minute.
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