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Stop Swimming Upstream for Health

Posted: March 7, 2013 at 2:47 pm
Categories: News

I’m a home office dweller. That means I have no commute. As far as my health’s concerned, that’s both good and bad.

My work day begins with a climb down three flights of stairs and then a return climb of three flights up. That’s not a bad commute by most people’s standards. The typical person commutes 25 minutes. Many more suffer longer commutes, and they do so through trying times: clogged roadways, angry commuters, little or no control. A study from Portland State University (PSU) says I live among the happiest commuters. In their research into commuter well-being, PSU discovered those who control their commutes are happier than those who do not, even when considering commuting length. Walkers and bikers lead the happiness pack.

Walkers and bikers have a well-being advantage over those in planes, trains and automobiles. They also have a distinct advantage over folks like me. They’ve built movement into the beginning and end of their day. These little bits of movement add up. Knowing this, I’ve been trying to figure out how to fake a commute. I’ve tried creating a commute: I “commuted” to and from my office by way of an early morning trek to the gym. That didn’t take. Not consistently, at least. I “commuted” to and from my office by way of a forced 10-minute walk around a local park. That didn’t take. I “commuted” to and fro my office by way of a few treks up and down my stairs. That didn’t take.

Finally it dawned on me that I was trying to force a habit instead of drawing on one I love. I love to dance. I routinely dance or bop about whenever I’m happy, frustrated, being silly, or really, really tired. It expresses my mood, or busts me out of it. It happens to do the same for those around me.

So, instead of this fake commuting, why not dance a song at the beginning and end of my day? I listen to music all day anyway. Dance breaks allow me to put my music to work in a new way, a way that affords me the movement I’m looking for—easily and naturally. (And it gives me many additional benefits, too.) Some day I may be ready to make the leap to two daily “commuting” walks and make them stick. Today, I’m not.

We often try to instill health by adopting behaviors that are foreign and uncomfortable and therefore difficult to maintain. In some cases, there really is no other way. But in many, we can take a concept and blend it or tweak it so we start moving in the right direction and stop swimming upstream for health.

Hotseat keeps us from swimming upstream by allowing users to pick the activities they’re comfortable and capable of doing, delegate activity appointment booking to Hotseat, and select when they play, how they play, and with whom they play.

Ready to face down your chair?


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