Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Can't Sit Still

I recently joked that the technical support people in my company were basically like the engineers, but with social skills. This remark was met with great amusement by the support folks. Less so by the engineers.

I mention this because, although an engineer, I've always taken a certain amount of pride in my social skills. I can create effective presentations, speak comfortably in front of crowds, and parlay my technical knowledge into sales when called upon to do so.

I can also sit still in meetings. It's a minor point, but I confess I've looked somewhat disparagingly at those who jiggle their appendages while listening to someone else speak. I've sat next to leg shakers and foot waggers, not to mention cell phone fidgeters and that classic type, doodlers. While this is hardly anti-social behavior, it can be a bit distracting. Moreover, it suggests that the mover and shaker is feeling some unease.

Then I read this New York Times piece. Olivia Judson argues that sitting still is, in fact, unhealthy. Fidgeting, twitching, and even getting up and pacing around are ways to stave off obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Who knew?

So nervous is the new cool. That will take some getting used to. I'll have to find some ways of making myself uneasy. I'll have to give myself that sense of deep disquiet that overwhelms repose, and spurs the body to action. I'll have to find some way to maintain that perpetual state of anxiety. How can I do that?

I'll start by reading the rest of the New York Times.

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