"Instant Recess" Gets "Mouse Potatoes" Away From Their Desks

At least three days a week, sets of employees at UCLA Health participate in a short "Bruin Break" with dance music and easy workout moves. It's part of a growing nationwide initiative to incorporate more movement into the work day.

What's the Latest Development?


At least three days a week, UCLA Health employees from 10 departments meet for a 10-minute "Bruin Break" that involves workout moves "easy enough so that everyone can take part without changing clothes" set to energizing dance music. Participants at one recent event commented on its positive benefits. Administrative assistant Althea Nelson said she was motivated to join a gym because of Bruin Breaks, and physical therapist Jason Tanaka said the breaks give him "a mental, psychological lift." Ragini Gill, a wellness coordinator, examined the effects of the breaks in one department last year and noticed "a significant drop in sick time attributed to repetitive stress injuries." She wants to extend Bruin Breaks to all 15,000 UCLA Health employees.

What's the Big Idea?

The Bruin Break was inspired by Instant Recess, an initiative founded by UCLA public health professor Dr. Antronette Yancey to encourage companies and other organizations to build short activity periods into the work day. Yancey died of lung cancer earlier this year, but her ideas are spreading to hundreds of programs nationwide. With greater attention being paid to the harmful side effects of sedentary work, employers might want to consider going beyond simply recommending exercise to literally "walking the walk."

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at The Los Angeles Times

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Why is 18 the age of adulthood if the brain can take 30 years to mature?

Neuroscience research suggests it might be time to rethink our ideas about when exactly a child becomes an adult.

Mind & Brain
  • Research suggests that most human brains take about 25 years to develop, though these rates can vary among men and women, and among individuals.
  • Although the human brain matures in size during adolescence, important developments within the prefrontal cortex and other regions still take pace well into one's 20s.
  • The findings raise complex ethical questions about the way our criminal justice systems punishes criminals in their late teens and early 20s.
Keep reading Show less

Apparently even NASA is wrong about which planet is closest to Earth

Three scientists publish a paper proving that Mercury, not Venus, is the closest planet to Earth.

Strange Maps
  • Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbor must be planet two or four, right?
  • Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
  • Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbor is... Mercury!
Keep reading Show less

Mini-brains attach to spinal cord and twitch muscles

A new method of growing mini-brains produces some startling results.

(Lancaster, et al)
Surprising Science
  • Researchers find a new and inexpensive way to keep organoids growing for a year.
  • Axons from the study's organoids attached themselves to embryonic mouse spinal cord cells.
  • The mini-brains took control of muscles connected to the spinal cords.
Keep reading Show less