Health

Toe Tapping Keeps Legs Healthy

Fidgeting feet may be the key to healthy legs, if researchersimages at the University of Missouri have got things right. A U of Missouri news release reports that researchers at the medical school compared the leg vascular function of 11 healthy young men and women before and after three hours of sitting. While sitting, the participants were asked to fidget one leg intermittently, tapping one foot for one minute and then resting it for four minutes, while the other leg remained still throughout. On average, the participants moved their feet 250 times per minute. The researchers then measured the blood flow of the popliteal — an artery in the lower leg — and found that the fidgeting leg had a significant increase in blood flow, as expected, while the stationary leg experienced a reduction in blood flow. Other research has shown that increased blood flow and its associated shear stress — the friction of the flowing blood on the artery wall — is an important stimulus for vascular health.

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