In praise of twitching
The Fit Tend to Fidget, reports the New York Times.
This is a great article. It's not everyday you learn about actigraphic underwear and find scientific vindication for twitchiness:
Overweight people have a tendency to sit, while lean ones have trouble holding still and spend two hours more a day on their feet, pacing around and fidgeting, researchers are reporting in findings published today.
The difference translates into about 350 calories a day, enough to produce a weight loss of 30 to 40 pounds in one year without trips to the gym - if only heavy people could act more restless, like thin ones.
The difference in activity levels may be biological and inborn, the researchers say, the result of genetically determined levels of brain chemicals that govern a person's tendency to move around. It is the predisposition to be inactive that leads to obesity, and not the other way around, they suggest.
The findings, being published today in the journal Science, are from a study in which researchers at the Mayo Clinic outfitted 10 lean men and women and 10 slightly obese ones - all of whom described themselves as "couch potatoes" - with underwear carrying sensors that measured their body postures and movements every half second for 10 days on several occasions. By the end of the study, which required a staff of 150, the researchers had collected 25 million pieces of data on each participant.