Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 27, 2005
By: Kevin Drum

FIDGETING FOR LIFE....Many years ago I remarked to my sister-in-law that I was impressed by her ability to sit so still. When I sit I'm always fidgeting. Today, though, we learn that fidgeting is good for you:

The most detailed study ever conducted of mundane bodily movements found that obese people tend to be much less fidgety than lean people and spend at least two hours more each day just sitting still. The extra motion by lean people is enough to burn about 350 extra calories a day, which could add up to 10 to 20 pounds a year, the researchers found.

"There are these absolutely staggering differences between people who are lean and people who are obese," said James A. Levine of the Mayo Clinic, who led the research being published in Friday's issue of the journal Science. "The amount of this low-grade activity is so substantial that it could, in and of itself, could account for obesity quite easily."

Perhaps more importantly, Levine and his colleagues also discovered that people appear to be born with a propensity to be either fidgety or listless, indicating that it will take special measures to convert the naturally sedentary into the restless -- especially in a society geared toward a couch-potato existence.

Need to lose weight? Fidget!

Kevin Drum 4:52 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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