Category Archives: Wellness


Expecting Balance

[This is a repost of a ProfHacker oldie, originally from 27 May 2011.]

A perennial sore point in academe is the phenomenon of work-life balance. As Amy noted last year, there’s always something you could be doing. What’s more, there’s a good chance you like at least some part of the work, since it’s what drew you into the profession, and so you gladly take on more and more, until you realize that you’ve forgotten that you have a third child or sick parent, or your partner starts taking out pers…


5 Things to Love About Coffee

Whether you’re a Starbucks loyalist or a member of the rebel alliance, the chances are pretty good that you’re a regular consumer of coffee. I, for one, am certainly doing my part to keep the coffee business going strong. Recently, a great local coffee bar opened here in downtown Spartanburg, and it’s become my semi-regular hangout of late thanks to free wireless Internet access, low prices, and the high probability that I’ll run into friends and acquaintances there. To be honest, I’ve been a l…


30 Days of Biking in April

I’ve been looking for a structured way to start getting more exercise, and it looks like the “30 Days of Biking” project–which starts tomorrow, April 1–might be just what I’m looking for. As the associated website explains, “Very simply, it’s a pledge to ride your bike every day in April, however far you want, no matter the weather! Next, you share your adventures online, with #30daysofbiking. That’s all there is to it.”

Continue reading


Hacking an “Adjustable” Standing Desk

A makeshift "adjustable" standing deskStanding desks aren’t exactly a new topic of conversation here at Profhacker. Ryan did a series titled “Stand (in the Place Where You Work)” (see Part 1 and Part 2) and has reviewed the GeekDesk Max. The Geekdesk is pretty expensive, though, so it isn’t an option for everyone. Konrad explored a less pricey (and far more portable) alternative when he reviewed the Ninja Standing Desk, and Lincoln pointed us to directions for building your own affordable standing desk.

Many of the comments on these…


Preserve Peace of Mind on Twitter by Disabling Retweets

Imagine, if you will, a family member or close friend. You care about this person, and value them for their perspective on the world. Except, as it happens, on that *one* subject. Maybe their political views are lifted wholesale from Fox or MSNBC. Maybe they parrot talk radio’s outrage of the day about sports or celebrity culture. Or during Premier League games they shout at the TV as if they were at a pub. Or perhaps this person loves to get your goat by telling you what other folks are saying…


Open Thread: Dealing With Inclement Weather

As the Weather Channel reports, a winter storm is currently blanketing much of the East Coast of the United States with snow. Such weather conditions not only make it difficult for students, staff, and faculty to drive on the perhaps poorly-cleared streets and highways; they can also make it dangerous to walk on potentially icy campus sidewalks and stairways. Deciding whether to close campus — or to delay opening, or to close early — involves more than just an assessment of the safety of the ro…


Open Thread: What Are You Doing This Holiday Season?

OlympiaSnowWomanBethelMaineThe holidays are upon us! Grades are in. Holiday music  is in the air. The scent of specially baked treats is everywhere. For most of us, this will be a much-deserved if too-short respite from the semester.

How do you plan to spend the holidays? Is there some work  or personal projects you would like to get done? Are you planning to relax with friends and family? (A great option, we think). Share with us your holiday plans in the comments.

Image from Wikipedia


Two Months with the Basis

Basis tracker In June of this year I wrote about using the Fitbit Flex, which was the first general-purpose fitness tracker I’d used. I have used heart rate monitors and running watches for specific fitness training for many years, but only for specific activities. An athletic heart rate monitor is a fantastic cardio training tool, as it helps you monitor your exertion level very precisely, especially for interval training. But those kind of heart rate monitors are not designed for continuous use — they usual…


Stand (in the Place Where You Work): And Stand On Something Already!

6134333174_4d8be76091_nSince writing a series of posts about switching to a standing desk, colleagues regularly ask me about this experience when I see them at conferences and other events. Lots of academics have switched to more frequent standing or are considering doing so. Overall I think this is a good thing. I never went back after my experiment: one year in I’m still standing 2/3 of most work days. Indeed, I’ve found that when I attend an event which requires extended sitting—such as a conference—I get antsy…


Four Simple Ways to Improve Your Day

green spaceFour simple ways to change your day, right now, using one of the most powerful free technologies available: the human body.

Close your eyes and breathe.
When you close your eyes and focus on your breath for even just a minute, the nervous system begins to slow down, increasing the ratio of alpha waves produced in your brain, and lowering pulse and blood pressure. Don’t worry about trying to breathe deeply or slowly (though that will naturally happen if you have more than a minute to devote to th…