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Puttering as Good for You as Jogging

messy counter top indicative of putterer

If you exercise before work and think that punches your health card for the day, it’s time to think again. Sure, a brisk walk or a spin on the elliptical certainly revs up your metabolism, but if you sit down for everything after that, you could be negating the good you did for your body.

CEO Day Martin at StandSteady desk

CEO Day Martin at her StandSteady desk

I learned that from Day Martin, CEO and founder of StandSteady.com. Day used to be a full-time data analyst, but her career path changed course on New Year’s a few years ago, when she hurt her back in a car accident. Gradually, she got better to the point that the only place her back hurt was when she was at work. “The Internet recommended I try a standing desk, but when I went to buy one, I was shocked at the price: $700 to $4,000!”

So, out of necessity, Day designed an inexpensive, lightweight, little desk that sits on top of a regular desk.

I’ll say much more about Day in my next post, but suffice it to say now that she clued me into a little secret about standing while you work: it may help you live longer. The reason?  Continue reading

Places that Help People to be Durable

Portland Sherett Neighborhood

If you want to be more durable in body, mind and spirit, it helps if the place where you live supports your efforts. Are there sidewalks in your neighborhood? Maker faires and meetups nearby? Is it easy to be active and follow your curiosity?

The new website Urbanful made a list of “cities to watch” whose “horizons are glowing especially bright.” But, if Merriam-Webster defines durable as “staying strong and in good condition over a long period of time,” is the future looking good for their residents, too?  Continue reading

3 Questions to Ask Before Giving a Kid a Cellphone

Verizon-Christmas-BagCompressedCropped

It’s that time again when parents scramble to find that perfect something to slide under the tree. But gifts are not created equal. Puppies, for instance, require a level of commitment. So does giving a child a cellphone, which has more strings attached than the most sought-after pair of sneakers.

Some kids, of course, need a phone to stay in touch when they’re away from home. But if your child is always under adult supervision (at home, on the bus, at school), a phone may be more of a want than a need. To know if you’re household is really ready for a new digital member of the family, you have to ask yourself these questions:

Is my child prepared to step up?

What some parents don’t realize until too late is that giving a child a phone ends the simplicity of childhood. He or she will be forever saddled with adult-like responsibilities such as keeping an expensive and delicate object charged and out of the toilet. A child will never skip as high with a phone in his pocket.

Does my child really know herself?

The early years are the only time in life when people can focus all their time on sensing the world around them and discovering their own unique powers – what they’re naturally good at and what they care about. Phones distract from that crucial get-to-know-me activity. As it says in The Durable Human Manifesto, “if kids spend too much time with technology too soon, they may never fully establish their own operating systems and understand what makes themselves tick.”

Am I ready to rock the family boat? 

Continue reading

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