Real Life

Are You A Fidget? Well Here's Why You Shouldn't Stop

Are You A Fidget? Well Here's Some Good News

Growing up a fidget I was always told 'Emma can you please sit still,' 'Emma stop tapping your foot,' 'Emma leave your hair alone.' Phrases at the age of 26 I still hear. Daily.

Well it turns out us fidgets have the best response to all those people in our lives telling us to sit on our hands. All this hair-twirling, pen-tapping and seat-wriggling is keeping us healthy. A recent study, published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine00345-1/abstract), of 12,778 women found that fidgeting goes towards undoing some of the damage of sitting at a desk all day.

Janet Cade, professor of nutritional epidemiology at the University of Leeds, asked 12,778 women between 1999 and 2002 questions about their fidgeting habits as well as their lifestyle choices.

Twelve years later she checked in with these women and found that those who sat still for seven or more hours a day were 30% more likely to have died than those who sat for five or less hours. The women in the middle and high fidgeting groups had no greater risk of dying when they sat still for longer periods.

“Those of us who are more fidgety seem to have better long term health outcomes,” Janet Cade told The Guardian. “It might be a good thing to fidget. I don’t think we are going to train people to fidget for health reasons, but it’s interesting that these small, active movements could be beneficial.”

There are some limitations to the research - how can you measure how much someone actually fidgets? Can you accurately correlate fidgeting with a longer lifespan? Professor Cade said: “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.”

In conclusion, nope I'm not going to stop tapping my foot.

Grazia magazine cover