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Why are we so distracted these days? It was never this bad just one technology generation ago, was it? Or is it my selective memory? I ask because Joshua Rothman has two hypotheses for why this might be true, which he describes in an intriguing article in the June issue of the New Yorker. Special thanks to Lynn Strother at HFES headquarters for sending me the link.
Still, for all our expertise, distraction retains an aura of mystery. It’s hard to define: it can be internal or external, habitual or surprising, annoying or pleasurable.
I don’t know about you, but I find this to be incredible intriguing. I am not ready to say yet whether I think it would actually work, but it is certainly thought-provoking and a great topic for this week’s “Thought-Provoking Thursday.”
Forget standing desks. In the office of the future, you might lean instead—supported by giant rock-like sculptures that designers argue are a healthier, more active way to work than anything that’s come before. A prototype of the office design is now on display in Amsterdam.
Standing desks seem to be one of those movements that have developed an irresistible momentum. No data needed. They instinctively resonate as a good idea. A no brainer. Why would we need any research to back it up? Sedentary lifestyles are killing us, causing obesity, diabetes, back pain . . . so standing must be better.
If it wasn’t already clear through common sense, it’s become painfully clear through science that sitting all day is terrible for your health. What’s especially alarming about this evidence is that extra physical activity doesn’t seem to offset the costs of what researchers call “prolonged sedentary time.” Just as jogging and tomato juice don’t make up for a night of smoking and drinking, a little evening exercise doesn’t erase the physical damage done by a full work day at your desk.