UK Women's Cohort Study

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Food Science & Nutrition

New UKWCS research published - Fidgeting can be good for you

23 September 2015

New research suggests that the movements involved in fidgeting may counteract the adverse health impacts of sitting for long periods.

In a study published today in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, a team of researchers, co-led by the University of Leeds and UCL, report that an increased risk of mortality from sitting for long periods was only found in those who consider themselves very occasional fidgeters.

They found no increased risk of mortality from longer sitting times, compared to more active women, in those who considered themselves as moderately or very fidgety.

The UK Women’s Cohort Study gathered information on a wide range of eating patterns of more than 35,000 women aged 35 to 69 who are living in the UK.

The new study analyses data from a follow-up survey sent to the same women, which included questions on health behaviours, chronic disease, physical activity levels and fidgeting. More than 14,000 responses
were received.

Study co-lead author Dr Gareth Hagger-Johnson from UCL, who conducted the data analysis, said:

“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.”