1. Michael R. Wolf says

    After burning out as a “road warrior” and itinerant trainer, I took some “desk jobs” and found relief from jet lag but found that I could not concentrate as well, think as deeply, or verbalized my thoughts as clearly when I sat as when I was lecturing from a white board or walking among my seated students. This was not just the effect of going from communicating to coding. Even my coding was decreased if I remained seated, even in a multi-hundred dollar Herman Miller chair. A standing desk helped. So did installing a white board that could not be reached from my desk. Ideas would start flowing within just a few steps as I left my (standing or sitting) desk to walk around, use my arms and hands to draw, and physically and kinesthetically interact with my ideas and the physical world.

    To paraphrase John Medina in “Brain Rules”, our bodies evolved to work in near constant motion, and if we were to try to design the conditions that most hamper it’s optimal working conditions, we’d come up with the modern office and classroom.

    I now feel bad for placing all my students at such a disadvantage. I should have had them walk an listen instead of turning off their bodies and hobbling their brains.

    Here’s to the new walking office and moving classroom!

    • says

      I love the idea of getting your students up and moving, Michael. Let me know if you give that a try. I also love the white board idea, especially the fact that you have to stand up to use it.

      I’ve read dozens of accounts like yours of increased concentration, productivity, and inspiration when you’re on your feet and am looking forward to seeing your experiences supported by research soon.

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