When we were young, we were constantly told by our parents to sit properly and stop fidgeting.
But, according to the findings of a new study, this form of restless behavior and twitchy mannerism may actually save us from serious health problems, The Guardian reported.
Previous medical studies and reports have already confirmed that inactivity and sitting down for long periods of time are associated with various kinds of diseases such as heart problems diseases. Office workers are particularly vulnerable to these issues they spend huge amounts of their day sitting down.
Fortunately, a group of researchers from the University of Leeds have found a way that can help office-based individuals reduce their risk of dying from these diseases. According to researchers, fidgeting such as tapping the feet or changing sitting positions can help fight off the development of various health conditions.
For the study, the researchers analyzed about 12,778 women between the ages of 37 and 78. They were then asked how many hours a day they spend sitting down. They also rated the frequency of their fidgeting behavior from a scale of one to ten.
The researchers also took into account the dietary and exercise habits of the participants.
After adjusting the collected data based on lifestyle factors, the researchers discovered that those who spend at least seven hours a day sitting down are 30 percent more likely to die from disease as compared to who sit down for five hours or less.
But, the researchers noted that the increased risk of 30 percent is only applicable to those who answered a low fidget rating, or those who rarely move while they're sitting down, according to CBS News.
Conversely, those who sit down for more than seven hours a day but constantly fidget have almost the same health condition as the participants who spend less than five hours sitting down.
Although the researchers admitted that more studies have to be conducted regarding this topic, their findings already clearly show the impact of small movements in people's overall health. It also opens the debate regarding society's negative view on fidgeting.
"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 simpler movements are beneficial for our health," Janet Cade, a professor from the University of Leeds' School of Food Science and Nutrition and co-author of the study said in a statement.
The study conducted by the researchers was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.