Fidgeting in Class Has Benefits

I am someone who can not sit still for a long period of time. So when trying to find a topic for my blog post I was excited to come across an article that talked about how fidgeting while sitting down is actually good for your health. According to the New York Times, sitting for a long period of time without movement restricts blood flow to the legs, which in the worst case can raise blood pressure or over time lead to the hardening and narrowing of arteries. In a study done by the American Physiological Society, 11 college students were chosen to determine how much the blood flow would be restricted, and effective ways to stop this from happening. What the students had to do was sit down for three hours while keeping one leg still and the other moving for one minute and then still for four minutes. (New York Times). In order to properly get results, all of the students had their original blood pressure taken to compare the results with. As they expected, the blood flow in the leg that was still declined and went up in the moving leg. Something the researchers did not expect was that when testing the legs reactions to things it was worse than it was originally, so being still for three hours had already had a negative effect.

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Not only is blood pressure effected by being still, but it also has been found that not moving for extended lengths of time can cause obesity or heart disease, according to CBS news. In a study done by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, a group of women were chosen; some fidgeted and some did not. They were followed for twelve years, those who were sitting for more than seven hours a day while sitting almost still the entire time, had a 30% higher chance of an earlier death than those who sat for five or less hours a day, also while not moving ( American Journal of Preventative Medicine). Women in the group that had higher rates of fidgeting mortality that sat for 5-6 hours in a given day had rates of fidgeting that went down (American Journal of Preventative Medicine).

So if you’re someone like me who has a hard time sitting still in class, maybe its a good thing.

Sources used :

New York Times



8 thoughts on “Fidgeting in Class Has Benefits

  1. Casey Patrick Brennan

    I constantly fidget in class, especially SC200 as it is a longer class period. It is very reassuring to know that sitting still for a long period of time can lead to all of these possible health issues. I’m definitely the one to move around, jiggle my leg, tap my foot, etc. So to all those people who told me tapping my leg was annoying throughout all these years. have fun with your high blood pressure and narrow arteries. I wonder if moving different body parts has different effects? Such as, what the difference between clicking your pen and tapping your foot? Do they have different health effects?

  2. amk6274

    This post is relevant to almost every college student who sits through long lectures. You can’t help but cross your legs dozens of times during a class period because the same sitting position gets uncomfortable. However, there might be a cause as to why students fidget so much during class. Perhaps it has something to do with the brain or nerves. Or maybe fidgeting increases performance. Some questions that I have in mind are; Why do some move their legs, hands or bodies as a whole? And how do you determine why some students do one and not the other? This is an interesting article to take a look at that relates to your post!

  3. Nicole B Sherman

    When I read this blog post, the first thing that came to my mind was, wow, I do that too, I can really relate to this. I found your article to be very interesting because it is a topic that I think a lot of people deal with. For instance, sometimes when I am sitting in a large lecture hall, I will look around and notice that a great deal of individuals are fidgeting with their hair, shifting in their seats, or stretching, which I think helps to show that a lot of people do have trouble staying still I class. The study you referenced, the one done by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, was a very interesting outlook on the situation. It had never occurred to me that sitting down for hours upon hours would lead to an earlier death. I can understand it though, I mean it is common knowledge that exercise is good for you, so when your body is almost immobile, and doesn’t get any type of movement, for what can seem like endless amounts of time, it can’t be good for your joints, or your heart rate. This makes me wonder if there are certain types of small exercises or movements that one can do to help prevent some of the health problems associated with sitting down so much. Overall though, I think that a lot of people can relate to this problem, and it’s great to hear that moving around so much, in either a class or office situation, is actually good for your health!

  4. Michael Robert Szawaluk

    I immediately started moving my legs when I read the title of this post. I also am one who is constantly tapping their leg or clicking their pen in class. I would have never thought that sitting still for extended periods of time could lead to such serious health problems. I asked myself almost immediately if there could be any way that we could sit without having such harmful effects. Could crossing your legs help? Or could that hurt? I feel that this topic has one I have heard about before and am very glad it was brought to my attention again. I have seen commercials for the transformable desk that shifts the entire desk up so you alternate between sitting and standing. Could this be the new thing? Check it out:

  5. Jarrod T Skole

    I have the same problem in class too, I always fidget or play with my pencil. Usually when I am not fidgeting it affects my concentration because I am concentrated on not fidgeting instead of the class. Even my roommate fidgets when he is studying but he also says it helps him concentrate. Maybe there is a connection between fidgeting and how the brain reacts to it.

    Another interesting fact to think is how fidgeting might stop blood clots. My father sat a desk for close to 10 hours a day when he was starting up his company and after a few years he found out that he had a blood clot in his leg do this. Since people sit for so long they aren’t letting the blood flow freely in their body, but maybe if people just fidget a little it could help them circulate blood better. I would be interested to see a study done with people who sit at desks and fidget verse people who sit at desks and do not fidget and see if their a correlation with blood flow.

  6. Dante Labricciosa

    This post is relevant to me because I also fidget within class. I believe it helps refrain me from falling asleep, as the lecture style teaching does not seem appealing to me (and many others in class). But this post can further investigate what fidgeting is. As in, what causes one to fidget and what prevents one from actually doing it? Are there reasons for one to move their leg instead of twiddling their hands? And to further that, are there technological advances in certain chairs we can sit in that do not restrict blood flow? And even how does fidgeting effect cognitive function, rather than just blood pressure? Fidgeting isn’t as simple as it seems, as you have shown. This post shows evidence that science is relevant in any subject, as every post gives us a better sense of rationality.

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