Pacing, fidgeting lead to weight loss; lower risk of Type II diabetes

According to a New York Times article that has been widely publicized:
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.

The difference translates into about 350 calories a day, enough to produce a weight loss of 30 to 40 pounds a year without trips to the gym - if only heavy people could act more restless, like light ones. . . .

Dr. Levine said that a few months ago the study findings inspired him to redesign his office. His computer is now mounted over a treadmill, and he walks 0.7 miles an hour while he works.

"I converted a completely sedentary job to a mobile one," he said.

The walking is addictive and "terribly good fun," he said, adding that he has had 30 or 40 requests from colleagues at Mayo for treadmill desks like his.
STLToday also reported on the story.

A related study from the Harvard School of Public Health shows that

women who avoid sedentary behaviors such as watching television more than ten hours per week and incorporate a thirty-minute brisk walk into their day, reduce the risk of onset of type 2 diabetes by 43 percent and obesity by 30 percent compared to women with sedentary lifestyles. . . .

Lead author of the study and Associate Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, Frank Hu said, “The message is simple, when you cut back on sedentary behavior, you cut back on the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and obesity which lead to serious health risks. Excessive time in front of the TV has been shown to contribute toward bad eating habits, such as eating foods high in saturated fats and increased caloric consumption. Incorporating more physical activity shows the greatest protection against obesity and diabetes; brisk walking, even doing chores around the yard and house can help.”