I had limited ambitions for this past weekend. I wanted to sort the mail pile, and that happened. I wanted to go for a run, and I did. A few other things did not pan out quite as intended, but more on that in my monthly newsletter essay (out near the start of August).
I’m working on a few stories for a few different outlets right now that I’d love help with — anecdotes, interesting studies you’ve seen, ideas of experts to interview.
* Ways to sit less. Following a few studies showing worse health outcomes for people who sit a lot (even if they exercise), publications featured a rash of stories on treadmill desks. It’s a nice idea, but I’m guessing 95-plus percent of people are not going to wind up working all day while walking at 1.5 mph. So, failing that, what are some other ways you’ve found to sit less?
* How to “split shifts” well. Fast Company’s been doing a soft launch of a working parents section that I’m writing for. In my Mosaic research, I found that 45 percent of logs featured “split shifts” — that is, the parent going back to work for at least 30 minutes, on at least one weeknight, after the kids went to bed. It’s the way a lot of people preserve evenings for family time while still logging longer work hours. If you do this frequently, how do you minimize the downsides? (e.g. having no time with one’s partner, staying up too late or having trouble winding down).
* AC horror stories. For a potential USA Today column. Every time I visit an office building, hotel, or event space during the summer, I have to remember to pack a sweater. The AC is cranked up so high that going outside is a relief. I’m looking for stories of people who’ve worked in office buildings where such inefficient energy use is going on, forcing them to resort to mittens, blankets, space heaters, etc. I think it’s that office temperatures are set for men in suits, though it may also be about poor planning too (the temperature is set for the building being at maximum capacity — but it usually isn’t).
As always, feel free to post here or email me: lvanderkam at yahoo dot com.