Tags: Heart Disease | fidgeting | save | life | arterial | disease

Could Fidgeting Save Your Life?

Could Fidgeting Save Your Life?

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Friday, 05 August 2016 11:52 AM


Stuck sitting at a desk all day and worried that it's affecting your health? Researchers from the University of Missouri have found that fidgeting can help prevent arterial disease by increasing blood flow in legs.


"Many of us sit for hours at a time, whether it's binge watching our favorite TV show or working at a computer," said lead author Jaume Padilla, Ph.D., an assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology.


"We wanted to know whether a small amount of leg fidgeting could prevent a decline in leg vascular function caused by prolonged sitting," he continued. "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."


Researchers compared the leg vascular function of 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. The researchers then measured the blood flow of an artery in the lower leg, and found that the fidgeting leg had a significant increase in blood flow, as expected, while the stationary leg experienced a reduction in blood flow.


The increased blood flow with the accompanying friction of the flowing blood on the artery wall is an important stimulus for vascular health. Before this study, however, fidgeting's protective role had not been established.


While participants only moved one leg during the experiment, the researchers recommend tapping both legs to get maximum effects. They warn, though, that fidgeting is not a substitute for walking and other types of exercise which produce overall cardiovascular benefits.


"You should attempt to break up sitting time as much as possible by standing or walking," Padilla said. "But if you're stuck in a situation in which walking just isn't an option, fidgeting can be a good alternative. Any movement is better than no movement."


The study was published by the American Journal of Physiology Heart and Circulatory Physiology.

 

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Stuck sitting at a desk all day and worried that it's affecting your health? Researchers from the University of Missouri have found that fidgeting can help prevent arterial disease by increasing blood flow in legs. Many of us sit for hours at a time, whether it's binge...
fidgeting, save, life, arterial, disease
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2016-52-05
Friday, 05 August 2016 11:52 AM
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