A new study from the University of Leeds and the University College London indicates that even the smallest activities are crucial to our health. It appears as though fidgeting can counteract the negative impact from long periods of sitting and inactivity. In the University of Leeds’ UK Cohort Study, data from 13,000 women between the ages of 37-78 was examined. The women filled out questionnaires and were then followed up with for an average of 12 years after. They were to report information such as the average amount of time spend sitting a day, their diets, exercise habits, and consumption of alcohol and cigarettes. With all of the variables in mind, it was found that more sedentary women were at higher risk for health complications if they did little to no fidgeting. There was a 30% greater risk found with those who sat for seven or more hours a day.
There is no proof that fidgeting counteracts health risks, more research is necessary. But at the very minimum, it can be confirmed that after hours of sitting, stretching and wiggling your hands and toes around can alleviate stress on the body and help circulation.
Even with substantial evidence, fidgeting will never be a replacement for exercise.