Health Hack: Want to Ace That Test? Get the Right Kind of Sleep

It is past mid-October and like always the school year continues at break-neck speed. This is about the time where the circles under the eyes begin to take on a bluish/charcoal colour. Noses start running. Stomachs cramp up.

Okay, maybe that’s just me. But still, I think it is good to remind our students (and ourselves) of the importance of sleep. Below is an interesting article that links different parts of the sleep cycle to different “sleep study skills”. Intrigued? Read on!

Sleep is learning, of a very specific kind. “Sleep Study Skills” can help our teenagers game the system — and get enough sleep.

Source: parenting.blogs.nytimes.com

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Stand Up For Your Right…to live longer and healthier

Okay, so yesterday was the last straw. I was sitting for about the fourth consecutive hour, focussing on putting my new found Photoshop skills into practice (more on that later) and Ideas in the Afternoon comes on the CBC. What was the topic? Well, okay, it was mainly about walking but a big part of it was how sitting is becoming the new epidemic.

Now, I have written about this before. Talked anyone who has the misfortune of being in my vicinity ears off about it. And yet, there I was, sitting my way to an early death (You say I exaggerate? whatever. Hyperbole is an effective literary technique in order to demonstrate my point, I riposte).

So I did something about it. Here is my first attempt at a standing desk:

photo 3

It took five minutes. Okay, okay, it was aesthetically displeasing and not so ergonomic, but it got me standing. Issues were that the screen was too low and the mouse didn’t work so well on the dirty box surface.

So this morning, I tried putting all those unused National Geographics to use (I dusted them before though):

photo 1 photo 2

It looks better, I can adjust the height and the mouse works way better.  I am sure I will be making some adjustments but so far so good. Not sure about the actual ergonomics- I have tried to make it so my elbows fall naturally at my side and my wrist is not at a bad angle, but I am not sure if I am doing it right- I would have to defer to an expert on that…

Now, I will let you know how it feels to be standing instead of sitting all day…

5 health benefits of standing desks

This issue has been on mind for a while (in fact, I am sure I have written about this before) as I spend most of my day sitting in front of a computer screen and apparently that is about the worst thing you can do for your health. Although I run in the morning and walk home from work at the end of the day, apparently that’s not enough:

The solution, they say, isn’t to sit for six hours at work and then head to the gym afterward, because evidence suggests that the negative effects of extended sitting can’t be countered by brief bouts of strenous exercise. The answer is incorporating standing, pacing and other forms of activity into your normal day—and standing at your desk for part of it is the easiest way of doing so.

It also relates to another issue- one that I feel needs to be addressed more in our school – about ergonomic and proper posture when you are on your iPad/desktop/laptop. Our bodies are the ultimate in planned obsolescence- we might as well try to make them last as long as they can…

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Spending more of your day standing could reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer

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