Beth Stebner
September 24, 2015 8:33 am

We can all admit that working in an office comes at a price – a long commute, sad desk lunches, and of course, annoying co-workers.

But it turns out that co-worker who always fidgets and never sits still could be onto something. In fact, they might be doing something really healthy.

A new study from the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that fidgeting and moving around while seated could help counter some of the really scary long-term effects of sitting for long periods of time (like, you know, serious health problems that could lead to death).

Researchers found that women who were “middle” or “high” frequency fidgeters were at a 30% less mortality risk after sitting 7 hours than “low” fidgeters. You know what that means? Some leg crossing and uncrossing, along with a little foot twitching may be just what the doctor ordered.

But fidgeting won’t necessarily save you from a whole host of other health problems. Simply sitting around all day comes with a laundry list of scary side-effects, from weight gain to cardiovascular disease to an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.

The study’s co-author, Professor Janet Cade from the University of Leeds said that more research is needed, but “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.”

So fidget away at your desk today, but make sure to take frequent breaks (about once an hour) to stand up, stretch, and head over to the water cooler for some gossip, just as long as you’re not stepping into a conversation about how weird it is that you’ve been fidgeting at your desk all day.

(Image via NBC)

Related:

Why you should be taking more naps

What your sleep habits say about your job

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