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Feet Tapping maybe good for the body !!

Do you like tapping your feet to some groovy music or how about tapping your feet to some really cool hip hop beats and not knowing even a single line except the chorus from the lyrics. Not only does it make you look cool but sure does make you feel good too right. 

Sometimes we all like to tap our feet intentionally or maybe we do it cos we’re in a hurry to finish whatever desk job we have and just run away to freedom. Whatever the case may be feet tapping has become so common in our lives that we don’t even realize why we do it anymore !!

Researchers have become curious as to why individuals tapped their feet when they listened to musical beats and are ready with some answers for us. Also, researchers have found out how feet tapping just may help prevent arterial dysfunction from sitting down for really long hours. In simpler words, they found a way to fool the body to think that the person wasn’t sitting while they were actually sitting by simply fidgeting their legs or tapping their feet. 

Why do we Tap our feet to a musical beat?

Researchers have explored the theory behind the relationship between musical sound and body movement. Studies have shown that people tend to perceive affinities between sound and body motion when experiencing music. 

In a paper recently published by the journal of new music research, Professor Rolf Inge Godoy and colleagues at the University of Oslo explore the theory behind the relationship between musical sound and body movement. 

Previous studies have shown that individuals tend to perceive affinities between sound and body motion when they were experiencing music. Researchers further went on to say that the so-called motor theory of perception claimed that these similarity relationships were deeply instilled in human cognition.

The Motor Theory of Perception theory !!

According to the theory, in order to perceive something, individuals should actively simulate the motion associated with the sensory impressions they were trying to process. Researchers went on to say that when individuals listened to music, they tend to mentally simulate the body movements that they believed had gone into producing the sound. And thus it was this experience of sound that entailed a mental image of body motion.  

According to one of the researchers, Music related motion which includes both sounds producing and sound accompanying left a trace in the individual’s minds and could be thought of as a kind of shape representation, one that was intimately linked to the in people’s experience of the salient features of musical sound.

The basic notion according to researchers is that images of sound producing and other sound related motion were actively re-created in listening and in musical imagery which was why the idea that motor theory could be the basis for the similarities between sound and body movement when individuals experienced music.

Although the links between musical sound and motion could be readily observed, the researchers argue that a more systematic knowledge of them was further required. To this end, they had used a wide range of research methods and approaches including a sound tracing experiment designed to explore the gestures people made to describe particular sounds.

The Study 

Participants were played three-second sounds that varied in pitch and other musical qualities and were later asked to trace the sounds in the air using motion capture technology. 

The results indicated that a fair amount of similarity among the participant’s gestures,  particularly between the vertical positioning of their hands and the pitch of the sound.

In general, some extra sound features such as rhythm and texture seemed to be strongly related to movement while others, such as dissonance had a weaker sound motion relationship. As a result, the researchers intend to focus their future work on researching large scale statistical sound-motion feature correlations, thus providing people with more data on sound motion similarity relationships in all the different kinds of musical experience.

Feet Tapping or Fidgeting could help prevent arterial dysfunction from sitting !!

Previous researches have shown that sitting for an extended period of time at the computer or during a long airline flight can decrease blood flow to the legs, which may contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease.  

A new study has found out that fidgeting the feet while sitting can protect the arteries in legs and potentially help prevent arterial diseases. 

According to a researcher, individuals sit for hours at a stretch regardless of whether they are binge watching our favorite TV show or working at a computer. Researchers wanted to see whether a small amount of leg fidgeting could prevent a decline in leg vascular function which was caused by prolonged sitting.  And while they expected that the process of fidgeting could increase blood flow to the lower limbs, the researchers were surprised to find that this exercise alone was enough to prevent a reduction in arterial function.

During the course of the study, the researchers compared the leg vascular function of 11 healthy young men and women before and after three hours of sitting. While being in the sitting position, the individuals 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 an average, the individuals moved their feet 250 times per minute.  The researchers then measured the blood flow of the popliteal (an artery located in the lower leg) and found that the fidgeting leg had a significant increase in blood flow which the researchers already expected. Whereas the stationary leg experienced a reduction in blood flow. 

Research has shown now that the 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. However, fidgeting’s protective role had still not been established in the study.

The Study !!

In the experiment, participants were told to carry out the fidgeting exercise using only one leg but researchers recommend that everybody should tap both their legs to maximize the beneficial effects. However, researchers caution that fidgeting is not a substitute for walking and exercise, which could produce more overall cardiovascular benefits.

Researchers also recommend that people should attempt to break up sitting time as much as possible by standing or walking. But exceptions can be made if the individual was stuck in a situation I which walking alone wasn’t just an option, they could resort to fidgeting which could be an even better alternative. Researchers concluded by saying that any movement was better than no movement at all. 

The research was carried out by Jaume Padilla, Ph.D. an assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University Of Missouri, Columbia along with a team of fellow researchers.