5 Workday Health Hacks that Work

Added 19/4/2016


You have to head to the office each day—you’re into your career, and there are bills to pay. So why not do a few things to make your work a healthier and happier experience? These savvy strategies are pretty easy, and very effective.

Walk the plant. Just two minutes of getting up and walking per hour is all it takes to make up for some of the negative consequences of sitting all day. In fact, this small amount of movement or activity can minimize your risk for early death, diabetes and heart disease, according to a new study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. So instead of sending an email to your colleague down the hall, walk on over. Doing some stretches works, too.

Take a stand. You don’t have to go as extreme as a treadmill desk, but standing at your desk can lead to greater engagement (and some extra calorie burn). One study showed that elementary school children using standing desks, with stools available, had a 12 percent higher rate of attention than those using traditional desks. Consider changing your desk height, if possible, to sharpen your focus and get more done.

Think of fitness as fun. Turns out, our attitude toward exercise can affect how much we eat afterward. Participants of a Cornell University study who went on a 2K walk called “scenic” ate significantly fewer calories afterward compared to those told the walk was “exercise.” If you hit the gym at lunch or after work, try thinking of it as an enjoyable break instead of another task to get through. Add music or watch an engaging TV show while on the treadmill—anything to make your workout more fun.

Try meditation. If you’re prone to headaches from staring at a screen all day or worrying about impending deadlines, consider meditation to help mitigate them. Not only can it prevent migraines, it can also make them less severe when they occur, say scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. You can easily train yourself to do the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction type of meditation that helps sufferers feel more in control of their migraines and have much faster relief. A small break for meditation during a stressful workday may prevent a full-blown, day-wrecking pain in your head.

Call it exciting. Got a big work presentation coming up? Instead of trying to calm your nerves (which gives attention to your anxiety and is tough to do anyway), simply saying, “I’m excited,” beforehand can help you be more positive and successful, according to research from the American Psychological Association. You may be tempted to try calming yourself, but faking enthusiasm seems to work better, since it may be easier to see anxiety as excitement than trying to quell it. Even if it feels funny, talking about being excited can really help you feel that way—and pump your work performance.

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Signal detection theory tells us that there are two ways of changing the rate of mismatches.

Added 2/11/2014

Sensing phantom phone vibrations is a strangely common experience. Around 80% of us have imagined a phone vibrating in our pockets when it’s actually completely still. Almost 30% of us have also heard non-existent ringing. Are these hallucinations ominous signs of impending madness caused by digital culture?

Not at all. In fact, phantom vibrations and ringing illustrate a fundamental principle in psychology book hotel hk.

You are an example of a perceptual system, just like a fire alarm, an automatic door, or a daffodil bulb that must decide when spring has truly started. Your brain has to make a perceptual judgment about whether the phone in your pocket is really vibrating. And, analogous to a daffodil bulb on a warm February morning, it has to decide whether the incoming signals from the skin near your pocket indicate a true change in the world.

Psychologists use a concept called Signal Detection Theory to guide their thinking about the problem of perceptual judgments. Working though the example of phone vibrations, we can see how this theory explains why they are a common and unavoidable part of healthy mental function.

When your phone is in your pocket, the world is in one of two possible states: the phone is either ringing or not. You also have two possible states of mind: the judgment that the phone is ringing, or the judgment that it isn’t. Obviously you'd like to match these states in the correct way. True vibrations should go with “it's ringing”, and no vibrations should go with “it's not ringing”. Signal detection theory calls these faithful matches a “hit” and a “correct rejection”, respectively.

But there are two other possible combinations: you could mismatch true vibrations with “it's not ringing” (a “miss”); or mismatch the absence of vibrations with “it's ringing” (a “false alarm”). This second kind of mismatch is what’s going on when you imagine a phantom phone vibration.

For situations where easy judgments can be made, such as deciding if someone says your name in a quiet room, you will probably make perfect matches every time. But when judgments are more difficult – if you have to decide whether someone says your name in a noisy room, or have to evaluate something you’re not skilled at – mismatches will occasionally happen. And these mistakes will be either misses or false alarms.

Alarm ring

Signal detection theory tells us that there are two ways of changing the rate of mismatches. The best way is to alter your sensitivity to the thing you are trying to detect. This would mean setting your phone to a stronger vibration, or maybe placing your phone next to a more sensitive part of your body. (Don't do both or people will look at you funny.) The second option is to shift your bias so that you are more or less likely to conclude “it’s ringing”, regardless of whether it really is.

Of course, there’s a trade-off to be made. If you don't mind making more false alarms, you can avoid making so many misses. In other words, you can make sure that you always notice when your phone is ringing, but only at the cost of experiencing more phantom vibrations Serviced apartment Hong Kong.

These two features of a perceiving system – sensitivity and bias – are always present and independent of each other. The more sensitive a system is the better, because it is more able to discriminate between true states of the world. But bias doesn't have an obvious optimum. The appropriate level of bias depends on the relative costs and benefits of different matches and mismatches.

What does that mean in terms of your phone? We can assume that people like to notice when their phone is ringing, and that most people hate missing a call. This means their perceptual systems have adjusted their bias to a level that makes misses unlikely. The unavoidable cost is a raised likelihood of false alarms – of phantom phone vibrations. Sure enough, the same study that reported phantom phone vibrations among nearly 80% of the population also found that these types of mismatches were particularly common among people who scored highest on a novelty-seeking personality test. These people place the highest cost on missing an exciting call.

The trade-off between false alarms and misses also explains why we all have to put up with fire alarms going off when there isn't a fire. It isn't that the alarms are badly designed, but rather that they are very sensitive to smoke and heat – and biased to avoid missing a real fire at all costs. The outcome is a rise in the number of false alarms. These are inconvenient, but nowhere near as inconvenient as burning to death in your bed or office. The alarms are designed to err on the side of caution.

All perception is made up of information from the world and biases we have adjusted from experience. Feeling a phantom phone vibration isn't some kind of pathological hallucination. It simply reflects our near-perfect perceptual systems trying their best in an uncertain and noisy world DDoS Attack.

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