Unplug, while you plug in

Technology has improved efficiency: communication is often easier through email or texting, and marketing and news reporting is faster and easier through social media. Still, many people dream of the moment they can take vacation and just “unplug” from the persistent computer use. As increased efficiency through technology has also played a major part in growing levels of stress, it seems that it can be difficult remain calm and healthy and still work with technology on a daily basis. However, there is growing initiative to combine the perpetual use of our mobile devices to our overall stress level and health.

Galvanic’s PIP device communicates your stress level to your mobile device. To use it, you hold the device between your thumb and pointer fingers. People can choose from a number of apps to use with PIP. For example, the “Relax and Race” game teaches people to manage stress and remain calm in a stressful environment. According to Galvanic’s description of the game, “victory is only achieved by out-relaxing your opponent.” The device and various apps create a fun environment. Using game-related strategies in other non-game situations to make tasks more interesting is called “gamification”.

In addition to new stress-relieving devices, there are a number of courses and projects that are teaching people how to use technology to channel their stress and improve their health. Stanford’s Calming Technology Lab (CTL) – an inter-disciplinary group at Stanford – is working to use design and psychology to help people remain calm when using technology. They have initiated a number of creative projects, from teaching how to regulate one’s breath when using the computer to installing an app that will send daily messages such as “Today I’m looking forward to eating ____________ with _______________”. Users can complete the sentence, encouraging them to think about an upcoming positive event rather than stress over tasks first thing in the morning.

As mentioned in a recent Stanford Daily article CTL creator Neema Moraveji offers courses about using technology to our benefit. The way technology is used harms health, but Moraveji presents simple solutions like breathing exercises and meditation in an innovative way. He encourages taking technology, a strong source of stress, and using it in a more positive way that will help eliminate stress.

CTL combines the use of design to help attract people to exercises that will reduce their stress. By making seemingly tedious tasks visually appealing and fun, it would be easier to complete them and still remain calm. De-stressing can sometimes seem impossible with constant upcoming deadlines and the continual flow of emails, yet creating a simple game out of daily technical tasks can help to maintain stress and learn how to reduce it.

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/21561428@N03/

Solution News Source

Unplug, while you plug in

Technology has improved efficiency: communication is often easier through email or texting, and marketing and news reporting is faster and easier through social media. Still, many people dream of the moment they can take vacation and just “unplug” from the persistent computer use. As increased efficiency through technology has also played a major part in growing levels of stress, it seems that it can be difficult remain calm and healthy and still work with technology on a daily basis. However, there is growing initiative to combine the perpetual use of our mobile devices to our overall stress level and health.

Galvanic’s PIP device communicates your stress level to your mobile device. To use it, you hold the device between your thumb and pointer fingers. People can choose from a number of apps to use with PIP. For example, the “Relax and Race” game teaches people to manage stress and remain calm in a stressful environment. According to Galvanic’s description of the game, “victory is only achieved by out-relaxing your opponent.” The device and various apps create a fun environment. Using game-related strategies in other non-game situations to make tasks more interesting is called “gamification”.

In addition to new stress-relieving devices, there are a number of courses and projects that are teaching people how to use technology to channel their stress and improve their health. Stanford’s Calming Technology Lab (CTL) – an inter-disciplinary group at Stanford – is working to use design and psychology to help people remain calm when using technology. They have initiated a number of creative projects, from teaching how to regulate one’s breath when using the computer to installing an app that will send daily messages such as “Today I’m looking forward to eating ____________ with _______________”. Users can complete the sentence, encouraging them to think about an upcoming positive event rather than stress over tasks first thing in the morning.

As mentioned in a recent Stanford Daily article CTL creator Neema Moraveji offers courses about using technology to our benefit. The way technology is used harms health, but Moraveji presents simple solutions like breathing exercises and meditation in an innovative way. He encourages taking technology, a strong source of stress, and using it in a more positive way that will help eliminate stress.

CTL combines the use of design to help attract people to exercises that will reduce their stress. By making seemingly tedious tasks visually appealing and fun, it would be easier to complete them and still remain calm. De-stressing can sometimes seem impossible with constant upcoming deadlines and the continual flow of emails, yet creating a simple game out of daily technical tasks can help to maintain stress and learn how to reduce it.

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/21561428@N03/

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