Work in Japan Advice Board
We have become too sedentary, spending far more hours sitting down than we do on our feet. As early as 1841, Ralph Waldo Emerson bemoaned that civilized man had built a coach, but lost the use of his feet. Combine this with the fact that much of the time spent sitting is also spent eating, and you have a real recipe for disaster. What a price we pay for convenience.
Increased intake of Western-style food and a more sedentary lifestyle have combined to create a surge of diabetes in Japan over the last several decades. Recognizing that obesity can increase the risk of both heart disease and diabetes, Japan is focused on reducing waistlines, with the government introducing programs requiring companies to include checks and education about metabolic syndrome (metabo) in their employee’s annual health checks.
Mental depression (utsubyo) is also part of declining wellness, which along with suicide is nearly reaching epidemic proportions in Japan. There is unmistakably more talk and media coverage about expanding waistlines and sagging spirits.
There may come a time, and perhaps that time is already here, when a person’s career, job placement, opportunities, and even salary might be affected by their measured level of health, and their efforts to improve it.
Companies may not expect employees to be athletes and motivational speakers, but there is rising recognition that if you take good care of yourself, this attitude will probably carry over into your work. A person with a healthy attitude is more likely to get hired or chosen for a new project, than one who exudes negativity.
Negativity permeates the atmosphere, and has a dampening effect on people at work and at home. But it turns out that ultimately the person most affected by a negative attitude is the one who carries it.
An article published on 9/11/09 in Live Science, reports on 7 Thoughts That Are Bad For You, and is well worth reading. http://budurl.com/7pug
The article cites 7 scientific studies that track how negative attitudes can ruin your health and shorten your life. The studies were carried out by psychologists and doctors at schools such as Duke University, Purdue University, and the University of California, and tracked participants over many years to determine the effects of attitude on illness and longevity.
According to Live Science, the seven thoughts and attitudes which do the most damage are Cynicism, Lack of Meaning, Fretting, Lack of Self-Control, Anxiety, Gloom and Doom, and Stress. The evidence is hard to deny, and the numbers show that these attitudes lower immunity, aggravate or increase the risk of diabetes, cardiac conditions, and Alzheimer’s disease. Negative attitudes not only aggravate your ailments, they can shorten your life. A Japanese proverb says that, Illness starts with attitude（ 病は気から Yamai ha ki kara）. Now science is proving this to be true.
Research on the profound effects of attitudes have spawned a new branch of study called Positive Psychology, which focuses on enhancing the quality of life through positive attitudes, rather than analyzing and treating negative ones.
Still, I cannot help but feel that many people are missing the mind-body connection, by treating them as separate entities. What if there was a way to improve your mental and physical condition at the same time? There is, and it’s all about getting on your feet. Getting back on your feet is a slang expression for making a comeback. The best way out of a slump? Get off your seat.
The power of walking has been celebrated for centuries, with rewards in renewal, health, creativity, and inspiration. Read through a collection of quotes about walking, and it will convince you of what you may have been missing (http://budurl.com/3l3n). Here is a small sampling.
The moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow. (Henry David Thoreau)
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right. (G.M. Trevelyan)
Nothing like a nighttime stroll to give you ideas. (J.K. Rowling)
The best remedy for a short temper is a long walk. (Jacqueline Schiff)
The long run is what puts the tiger in the cat. (Bill Squires)
A dog is one of the remaining reasons why some people can be persuaded to go for a walk. (O.A. Battista)
Dancing is the poetry of the foot. (John Dryden)
Those who hear not the music, think the dancers mad. (proverb)
People say that losing weight is no walk in the park. When I hear that I think, yeah, that’s the problem. (Chris Adams)
There are quotes for all persuasions and personalities, but the message running throughout is that moving your feet is good for body and soul.
Managers and company workers alike often complain about time spent in endless meetings. Instead of all that talking, maybe they should do more walking. In some cases, time might be better spend walking than working!
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William Reed is a renowned author-speaker who coaches physical finesse and flexible focus for a creative career path. A certified Master Trainer in Guerrilla Marketing and 7th-dan in Aikido, he combines practical wisdom of East and West to help you learn personal branding at the Entrepreneurs Creative Edge.