In 1999 it was demonstrated that those who fidget are thinner:
Some people seem to be able to fidget away fat, according to a Mayo ClinicÂ study aimed at finding out why some stay slim when overeating, while othersÂ gain weight.
The study, published Friday in the journal Science, involved 16 volunteersÂ fed 1,000 extra calories a day for eight weeks as instruments measured theirÂ energy use.
At the end, some of the subjects gained as much as 16 pounds, others asÂ little as two.
The difference, says Dr. Michael Jensen of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester,Â Minnesota, was the “fidget factor.”
The result showed that it was not the gross movements, such as walking orÂ climbing stairs, that made the difference. It was the small, fidgeting-likeÂ movements that separated the fast gainers from those who stayed slim.
Now it looks like there may be a mechanism for weight loss being produced by such tiny movements:
All he does is put mice on a platform that buzzes at such a lowÂ frequency that some people cannot even feel it. The mice stand there for 15Â minutes a day, five days a week. Afterward, they have 27 percent less fat thanÂ mice that did not stand on the platform â€” and correspondingly more bone.
At first, he assumed that the exercise effect came from a forceful impact â€”Â the pounding on the leg bones as a runnerâ€™s feet hit the ground or the blow toÂ the bones in a tennis playerâ€™s arm with every strike of the ball.
Over the years, he and his colleagues discovered that high-magnitudeÂ signals, like the ones created by the impact as foot hits pavement, were notÂ the predominant signals affecting bone. Instead, bone responded to signalsÂ that were high in frequency but low in magnitude, more like a buzzing than aÂ pounding.
That makes sense, he went on, because muscles quiver when they contract,Â and that quivering is the predominant signal to bones. It occurs when peopleÂ stand still, for example, and their muscles contract to keep them upright. AsÂ people age, they lose many of those postural muscles, making them less able toÂ balance, more apt to fall and, perhaps, prone to loss of bone.
â€œBone is bombarded with little, teeny signals from muscle contractions,â€Â Dr. Rubin said.
These small contractions are reminiscent of the fidgeting effect.Â Recently people have been figuring out that bones play a role in glucose metabolism:
Last summer, researchers at Columbia University Medical Center publishedÂ startling results showing that a hormone released from bone may help regulateÂ blood glucose.
When the lead researcher, Dr. Gerard Karsenty, first described the findingsÂ at a conference, the assembled scientists â€œwere overwhelmed by the potentialÂ implications,â€ said Dr. Saul Malozowski, senior adviser for endocrineÂ physiology research at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive andÂ Kidney Diseases, who was not involved in the research. â€œIt was coming fromÂ left field. People thought, â€˜Oof, this is really new.â€™
The signals produced by buzzing the bones fom fidgeting and other reasons seem to have an important effect on bone density and fat storage.
Thanks to Mickey for this one!November 27, 2007