The American Journal of Preventive Medicine has good news for people, who are concerned that too much of sitting might one day kill them (many previous studies have talked about the ill effects of sitting for extended period of time). According to a new study published in the journal, fidgeting when working might help in offsetting the negative health effects of sitting continuously for hours, at least partially.

Fidgeting surely cannot be an alternative to actual physical activities. However, as exercising regularly cannot trump the bad effects of sedentary lifestyle, this new study might present some really encouraging information for people who struggle to stop moving when sitting and working.

During the study, researchers in the UK checked data from a total of 12,000 women who answered a series of questions related to their diet, exercise habits, fidgeting, alcohol use and many such other lifestyle habits. Also, those 12,000 women also provided detailed information on their health; they revealed their body weight and also shared info about the health conditions they have suffered from over the years. The researchers were also informed about all participants who passed away when the study was still underway.

The study was carried out for a span of 12 years, after which the team analyzed the obtained data for finding out whether there’s any relationship between the above-mentioned variables.

Like many other previous studies, this new study also revealed that spending long hours sitting has strong links with mortality. The researchers found that the risk of mortality of women, who sat for over 7 hours a day and didn’t fidget regularly, was 43% more than the ones who sat for less than 5 hours. After adjusting for factors such as drinking, and smoking, the researchers found that the risk of mortality of women, who sat for over 7 hours a day, was still 30% more.

However, the more interesting fact put forward by the study is that individuals who are more fidgety might have the greater ability of counteracting the bad effects of sitting for long hours. The researchers found that participants belonging to the high and middle-fidgeting groups were not at any higher risk of mortality even after sitting for seven hours per day.

According to University of Leeds’ Jane Cade, any kind of movement might have good effects on people who need to sit for extended periods. Cade said that as a result even if it’s not possible to reduce the number of hours one sits when working, just fidgeting at the desk may turn out to be beneficial.

SOURCEPreventive Medicine