Study: Fidgeting Improves Fitness

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Fidgeting may not have been polite at Mom's dinner table, but it's serving your fitness well.

The little movements you make throughout the day -- tapping your feet, bending down to pick up garbage, chopping up your food -- help bump up cardiorespiratory fitness, according to a study published last month in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

The study examined a group of healthy but sedentary and overweight adults, measuring their activities and their VO2 max -- the maximum amount of oxygen a person can take in during exercise, reports New York Times' Well blog.

None of the participants met the recommended guidelines for moderate physical activity -- but those who moved the most through small, unplanned movements, especially those few who occasionally moved briskly, had much higher cardiorespiratory fitness than those who moved the least, according to Well.

"They weren't exercising," reports Well. "They may have been hurrying to catch the bus during the occasional, brief moderate-intensity spurt, but even that was enough, it seems to bump up VO2 max and, potentially, reduce risks of health problems."

Previous studies have suggested that fidgeting can help stave off weight. This one looked at how fidgeting helps fitness, and, according to one of the study's authors, "Our findings suggest that if you move even a little, that can help your fitness, even if you don't meet the formal exercise guidelines."

So, fidget away.

RELATED: Excessive Sitting is 'Lethal'

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