Project Fidget is not a very attractive name, nor will the word, fidgety, appeal to parents who want their children to sit still, especially at the dining table, not to mention the time when they are studying. A changing world has given a new meaning to the word, for recent studies have shown that those who fidget live longer than those who do not. According to the WHO, physical inactivity has become the fourth leading cause of death, claiming 3.2 million lives every year, including 2.6 million in low and middle income countries. The finding is not surprising considering that the indolent were always known to be more prone to heart attacks and other ailments than those who keep themselves busy.
Since this wise counsel is rarely followed, especially by the youth whose working hours have become much longer than the eight hours of yore, the statistics about the rising number of deaths is understandable. The linkage between indolence, obesity and junk food is also relevant in this respect. These are the factors that are known to be responsible for high blood pressure, which is the leading cause of death, followed by smoking and high blood glucose.
The usefulness of Project Fidget organised by the Wellcome Trust and the London Arts in Health Forum is obvious, for it will make the people conscious of the risks of a sedentary lifestyle. However, to what extent the objective of the sponsors to make people fidgety through ‘incremental movements’ will be successful will have to await the passage of time since most participants will be too conscious of being laughed at in public to follow the routine. Notwithstanding its funny side, the project is a worthwhile endeavour if it persuades the so-called couch potatoes to occasionally bestir themselves instead of using the TV remote all the time.