Fidget Spinners, Weighted Blankets, and the Rise of Anxiety Consumerism Vox, September 10, 2018

This is an article about the growing “anxiety economy,” composed of products designed to calm us down. An entire flourishing industry now deals with the treatment of anxiety through items such as fidget cubes and gravity blankets. What does that tell us when we start dealing with mental health issues by throwing products at it? Treating anxiety with stuff is a global phenomenon, but particularly marked in the US.

 

Enhance Decision-Making and Problem-Solving by Walking Wharton Executive Education, September 2018

Leading decision makers are increasingly recognizing that not only are walking and working compatible, but that walking actually improves business outcomes. Simple yet effective: Walking improves decision-making and problem-solving.

 

Why Pessimism Is Underrated World Economic Forum, September 5, 2018

This is a powerful response to the spate of books and articles arguing that the world is better off than ever. Not quite so simple, says Chandran! The real progress that has been made in poverty alleviation, public health and living standards does not account for the costs of these achievements. Progress is in fact divorced from its impact on the planet and rooted in the illusion that human society is separate from the natural world.

 

Superhumans: The Remarkable Brain Waves of High-Level Meditators Big Think, September 13, 2018

People who have meditated for thousands of hours exhibit a remarkable difference in their brainwaves. Psychologist and author Daniel Goleman says we can actually see what happens in the heads of those who have achieved “enlightenment,” and the results are unprecedented in science.

 

No Helmets, No Problem: How the Dutch Created a Casual Biking Culture – Vox, August 28, 2018

A discussion with the authors of a new book on the Netherlands’ amazing bicycling culture, sharing lessons that can be applied to other cities: from cool Dutch cycling skill courses for kids; to why smart, safe infrastructure, slow cars, and safety in numbers are more important than bike helmets; to why the right wing in the Netherlands has to support more spending on cycling.

 

A Striking Stat:

More than one in four adults globally (28 percent or 1.4 billion people) are physically inactive. High-income countries are more inactive (37 percent on average) compared with middle-income (26 percent) and low-income countries (16 percent).

Source: New WHO data published in Lancet Global Health, 9.5.18

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