(HealthDay News) — Women who sit for long periods of time but are either moderately or very fidgety have a mortality risk similar to that seen in more active women, according to research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Gareth Hagger-Johnson, PhD, of the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a study involving 14,245 British women aged 35 to 69 years. Each participant answered questions regarding their health behaviors, chronic disease, 24-hour activity, physical activity levels and fidgeting.

As expected, the researchers found that women who did a lot of sitting and were only “slightly” fidgety had a higher risk for premature death than women who were more physically active and did not sit as much. However, women who did a lot of sitting but were either moderately or very fidgety had a risk for early death that was similar to that of more active women.

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“Our results support the suggestion that it’s best to avoid sitting still for long periods of time, and even fidgeting may offer enough of a break to make a difference,” Hagger-Johnson said in a university news release.


  1. Hagger-Johnson G, Gow AJ, Burley V, Greenwood D, Cade JE. Sitting Time, Fidgeting, and All-Cause Mortality in the UK Women’s Cohort Study. Am J Prev Med. 2015;doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2015.06.025.