But a cool infographic from a Northwest coalition of health care management advocates also points out the health benefits of bike commuting. For example: The average worker will lose 13 pounds in their first year of biking to work.
The group also posits that Portland’s investment in bike-commuting infrastructure will save the city millions in health care expenses.
Humans are greatly effected by the greenery in their environments, but remember how a few weeks back I was lamenting that not much robust analysis or study had been done on this kind of positive impact? Well, voila!
ScienceDaily (2011-11-17) — Greening of vacant urban land may affect the health and safety of nearby residents. In a decade-long comparison of vacant lots and improved vacant lots, greening was linked to significant reductions in gun assaults across most of Philadelphia and significant reductions in vandalism in one section of the city. Vacant lot greening was also associated with residents in certain sections of the city reporting significantly less stress and more exercise.
C. C. Branas, R. A. Cheney, J. M. MacDonald, V. W. Tam, T. D. Jackson, T. R. Ten Have. A Difference-in-Differences Analysis of Health, Safety, and Greening Vacant Urban Space. American Journal of Epidemiology, 2011; DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwr273
Cultivating an “attitude of gratitude” has been linked to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior toward others, including romantic partners. A new study shows that feeling grateful makes people less likely to turn aggressive when provoked, which helps explain why so many brothers-in-law survive Thanksgiving without serious injury.
But say you’re not in the habit of giving thanks. After all, we’re only asked to officially do it once or twice a year. Well, there are some pointers in the article to get you going:
Start with “gratitude lite.” – start out with writing just five things, and maybe a sentence or two about why you’re appreciative of them.
Don’t confuse gratitude with indebtedness – you don’t need to owe anybody anything to be grateful for them.
Try it on your family – even if they are horribly dysfunctional, you can still be grateful they passed the peas without throwing you a dirty look.
Don’t counterattack – okay, so maybe they did throw you a dirty look. By being grateful to them anyway, it puts individuals off guard and makes them more likely to be kinder in the future, according to some studies.
Share the feeling – … “More than other emotion, gratitude is the emotion of friendship,” Dr. McCullough says. “It is part of a psychological system that causes people to raise their estimates of how much value they hold in the eyes of another person. Gratitude is what happens when someone does something that causes you to realize that you matter more to that person than you thought you did.”
Try a gratitude visit.This exercise, recommended by Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania, begins with writing a 300-word letter to someone who changed your life for the better. Be specific about what the person did and how it affected you. Deliver it in person, preferably without telling the person in advance what the visit is about. When you get there, read the whole thing slowly to your benefactor. “You will be happier and less depressed one month from now,” Dr. Seligman guarantees in his book “Flourish.”
Contemplate a higher power. Religious individuals don’t necessarily act with more gratitude in a specific situation, but thinking about religion can cause people to feel and act more gratefully, as demonstrated in experiments by Jo-Ann Tsang and colleagues at Baylor University. Other research shows that praying can increase gratitude.
Go for deep gratitude. Once you’ve learned to count your blessings, Dr. Emmons says, you can think bigger…
And if that seems too daunting, you can least tell yourself —
Hey, it could always be worse. When your relatives force you to look at photos on their phones, be thankful they no longer have access to a slide projector. When your aunt expounds on politics, rejoice inwardly that she does not hold elected office. Instead of focusing on the dry, tasteless turkey on your plate, be grateful the six-hour roasting process killed any toxic bacteria.
They say hindsight is 20/20, and I find it very informative to find out what people wish they had done or are very happy they did, either at the end of a school year or sitting in a rocking chair on a porch in retirement. So this bit of anecdotal evidence is interesting, and while none of the regrets are surprising it’s good affirmation of what people’s priorities in life should be.
…the following regrets were first posted in The Observer in 2010, and we’ve recopied them for you here below. But instead of just the grandmotherly bits of advice about dreams having gone unfulfilled, we’ve supplemented each regret with some rockstar advice on how to not have these regrets in the digital age.
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people have had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.
TNW Advice: We interview so many entrepreneurs here at The Next Web, some of whom will succeed, most of whom will fail. But it’s about going out and creating a reality out of what was once just an idea in your head.