COLUMBIA, Mo. (WPVI) --For people who fidget - that nervous habit of tapping your feet may annoy your friends, but it could be good for your health.
It can keep the blood flow in your legs going when you sit for a long time.
Researchers at the University of Missouri tested young men and women before and after 3 hours of sitting.
They were surprised to find that fidgeting increased blood flow enough to prevent a decline in the function in leg arteries that's tied to long periods of sitting.
"What we found on an average, people performed 250 taps per minutes that resulted in an increase in blood flow during the actual fidgeting," says Dr. Jaume Padilla, leader of the study.
"We believe that any type of leg movement will be beneficial to the arteries of the lower limbs," continued Dr. Padilla.
It's not a substitute for exercise, but...
"Perhaps in situations where we are stuck in the office or on an airplane, in these situations fidgeting or leg movement may be a good alternative," said Dr. Padilla.
The study was good news for M-U student Nathan Winn, a confessed "constant fidgeter."
"So as long as you are not annoying your friends or bothering other people and you can get potential health benefits out of it, then why not do it?" says Winn.
Previous studies found another benefit to fidgeting - is that it helped young people with ADHD learn easier.
So there's two good excuses if you are someone who fidgets.