General Question

Nimis's avatar

Do you think the position of your body affects your level of productivity?

Asked by Nimis (13090 points ) September 20th, 2008

DISCLAIMER: Let me state that this is not an invitation for sexual innuendos! Behave, people.

Personally, I feel like I do better work when I am leaning forward.
For instance, I can’t seem to write a paper while laying down.
Are there any other productive forward-leaners out there?
Or other positions of preference? [Please read disclaimer before answering.]

Is it some kind of evolutionary throwback?
Because we’re natural hunters and our eyes are in front?
Or simply a propensity developed over years of working at a table or desk?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

7 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Yes, I do. When I am thinking or reading for pleasure, I like to lay down. Sometimes I like to pace when I am brainstorming or putting together a project plan.

gailcalled's avatar

I need an ergonomically correct chair so that I am not distracted by a lower back ache:. I never think and lie down at the same time; I don’t lean forward ever, either. However, I do a lot of preplanning while engaged in mindless activity (house and garden work, for example).

dland's avatar

I guess I should say “Sit up and pay attention while I answer your question!”

:-)

I certainly do, from personal experience. About 5 years ago, I was working at a high-tech company in Silicon Valley and found that the only way I could focus on my work was to have a stand-up workstation, which kept me from slouching in my comfy chair and turning into a web-surfing distraction-seeker.

This is why teachers tell us “sit up and pay attention”: certain postures, such as laying down or even slouching in a chair, seem to trigger certain states of mind, such as sleepiness or just plain relaxation, rather than alertness.

Medical research into the relationship between posture and alertness and productivity continues. You have probably heard over and over again that we have five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. In fact, we have far more senses, generally grouped into two categories: ”exteroception”, which deals with sensing things outside our bodies (the five senses above, plus the sense of balance) and ”interoception”, which deals with sensing things inside our bodies (pain, hunger, thirst, and so forth). About a hundred years ago, though, scientists described ”proprioception” (“the sense of one’s self”), which deals with awareness of how your limbs and body are positioned—whether your arm is outstretched, where your right foot is right now, and so forth.

With no specific scientific knowledge to back it up, forgive me, I suspect that some combination of the senses of balance and proprioception are involved in helping us fall asleep, wake up, be prepared for challenges. I also suspect that we developed those senses and that unconscious relationship among them through evolutionary adaptation (I wouldn’t call it a throwback, but a useful adaptation, like the ability to feel pain, which can save our lives.)

I hope this helps.

Nimis's avatar

Dla: Fascinating!
Will have to do more reading!

augustlan's avatar

I’m a forward leaner, or an “up stander” for productive work, but I like to curl up on the couch, with a note book on the arm of the couch for first drafts of essays.

jo_with_no_space's avatar

Absolutely. Lying down is for sleeping and sex, and it’s hard to work or study in that position.

Eggie's avatar

Yes the position of the body is important for sucess. In listening one must have their body straight to be more attentive, for an interview one must positon their body to show respect and attentiveness to the boss. Body positioning is most important.

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