Health tips — August 2016

Meditation can improve media multitasking, while inspirational managers who encourage longer work hours can in fact harm their teams.

COUNT FOR 10

Meditate your way to better media multitasking, say researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In general, most people can perform better after a mindfulness exercise. But this study found that heavy media multitaskers — who text and watch TV or listen to music while reading — who did 10 minutes of counted-breath meditation fared better on tests measuring attention than light media multitaskers. They also experienced a significant increase in their ability to juggle those electronic tasks.

As more videos, messaging and news creep into our everyday activities, slowing down by focusing on breathing may help us to juggle it all.

SICK AND INSPIRED

Inspirational managers who encourage their teams to put in longer hours and take fewer sick days may be harming their group, finds a Danish study published in the journal Work & Stress. During the study, 155 postal workers rated th eir managers and were asked about absence due to illness and “presenteeism” (being at work when sick). They were assessed again after two and three years. The study found that inspirational managers lead to higher rates of illness due to absence in the long term when workers in the control group showed 14 more days of presenteeism than their co-workers. 

About the Author

Martha Beach


Martha Beach is a freelance writer, fact-checker and proofreader in Toronto.

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