A new formula for exercise? Study suggests 1 hour of activity per 8 hours of sitting – The Washington Post

If you fear you’re doing irreparable damage to your body because your white-collar job keeps you sitting at your desk from 9 to 5, or you regularly spend entire weekends sprawled out on your couch binge-watching Netflix, there’s some good news just out from sports medicine researchers.

According to a study published in the Lancet, all is not lost. You may be able to make up for your increased risk of death due to a sedentary lifestyle by engaging in enough physical activity.

So just how much is enough? The first thing you need to know is that it’s not a fixed number but based on a ratio that depends on the amount of sitting you do daily. If you sit four hours a day, you need to do at least 30 minutes of exercise. An eight-hour work day of sitting means one hour of exercise.

The numbers come from an analysis based on a very large pool of people, about 1 million adults, 45 and older, from the United States, Western Europe and Australia. The findings show a risk reduction — or even elimination — for your risk of death from heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

Source: A new formula for exercise? Study suggests 1 hour of activity per 8 hours of sitting – The Washington Post

A big part of the problem is the outmoded pattern of knowledge workers commuting from their home communities to an office located in another distant community. Doing that every weekday adds to the time spent sitting given most commute by vehicle rather than cycling or walking.

There’s a better model that promotes wellness by freeing up as much as an hour or two every day for more exercise: migrating out of centralized commuter offices and having knowledge workers work in the communities where they live in home offices or satellite co-working centers. It is there rather than the office where that hour or two of daily exercise to offset sitting is more accessible and more easily adopted as a lifestyle change.

Facebook is considering opening a San Francisco office – Business Insider

Facebook is thinking about opening up an office in San Francisco, which would be a huge boon for employees who have been dreaming of an easier commute, the San Francisco Business Times reports, based on conversations with three real-estate sources.Most of the biggest tech companies in Silicon Valley, including Google, Apple, and Yahoo, have a smaller office in San Francisco, but Facebook has always decided to keep its Bay Area employees together at its huge Menlo Park headquarters.This decision has brought grief for city-based employees because the commute can take up to two hours with traffic, which can feel like “a soul-crushing waste of time” despite the Wi-Fi-enabled free shuttles.

Source: Facebook is considering opening a San Francisco office – Business Insider

As I’ve written, the San Francisco Bay Area suffers from enormous tension, caught between advances in information and communications technology — much of it innovated there — and its habit of clinging to the outdated, 20th century Industrial Age model of daily commuting to a centralized, commuter office. The tension is particularly acute in the Bay Area given it has some of America’s worst traffic congestion, generating a huge time suck on the personal lives of those who commute there.

Per this development, it appears the tension is beginning to ease as a large Silicon Valley tech company is reportedly looking to establish a satellite office in San Francisco in order to bring work closer to its staff rather than busing them daily like high school students. Facebook doesn’t even need to spend much on costly San Francisco office space since most of its staff can work from home offices and collaborate with colleagues and customers virtually. With the occasional in-person meeting at the old centralized commuter office to reinforce team bonds. Ideas can be shared 24/7 from anywhere. And in person collaboration isn’t necessary unless Vulcan-style mind melds are needed to better protect proprietary company information.


New economic strategy for Maine: Lure workers, business will follow — Business — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

PORTLAND, Maine — A new nonprofit has an idea for getting more companies, large and small, to locate in Maine: Don’t try for the whole company.On Monday, the group Work in Place will officially launch in Portland, during the third annual Maine Startup and Create Week, with plans to host a national conference in Maine’s largest city next spring to bring location-independent workers together.As they learn more about people who have a boss but not necessarily a fixed office, they want to provide a professional network and support, too.“We’re not evangelizing remote work, and we don’t need to at this point in time — it’s already happening,” said Misty McLaughlin, who co-founded the group with her husband, Michael Erard.The group aims to host events centered on that growing segment of the workforce, in part to help policymakers and economic development officials consider new approaches in a far-flung place such as Maine, which Erard wrote should be “low-hanging fruit.”

Source: New economic strategy for Maine: Lure workers, business will follow — Business — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

More evidence the decentralization of knowledge work and its dispersal across the United States is starting to gain momentum.

It’s no wonder knowledge workers are seeking alternatives to costly, congested metro areas. There’s really no need to work in them now that information and communications technology has matured to the point that knowledge work can be performed independent of location.

To facilitate this megashift in where people work and live, there is an essential infrastructure component that’s needed, especially in poorly connected states like Maine: Universal, affordable fiber to the premise (FTTP) telecommunications infrastructure.

Technology will change where we live | TechCrunch

Finally, we have virtual reality coming in to totally upend things, perhaps rendering the commute obsolete altogether. There’s a reason Facebook bought Oculus for $2 billion. Facebook sees the future of social interaction as happening through VR. Microsoft has already shown demos of people in completely different places physically, interacting seamlessly almost hologram-like in a way that’s both creepy and awesome (they appropriately call it Holoportation).Perhaps there are some lingering expectations of people being in the office part-time to build camaraderie (drinking virtual beer together isn’t as fun after all), but the five-day-a-week commute will be undesirable to employees — and to employers who want a recruiting advantage and prefer more workable hours for their employees and can offer it by eliminating their commute.

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Instead of having a few densely populated pockets like we do today, people are going to disperse because technology will make it easier to do so and it’ll be much cheaper to live. Real estate prices will shift — not just in San Francisco, but in every major city. And places that hold universal appeal (e.g. beachfront/close to mountains) will draw more people as a result.

Source: Technology will change where we live | TechCrunch

Dan Laufer reiterates the thesis of my recent eBook Last Rush Hour: The Decentralization of Knowledge Work in the Twenty First Century. The maturation and continued evolution of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) such as VR conferencing will render the daily Monday through Friday commute obsolete by removing the last perceived barrier to avoiding working daily in a centralized office setting: the need to meet face to face.

As I write in Last Rush Hour, ICT will prove as a profound and disruptive force of change for residential settlement patterns as the automobile was at the height of the Industrial Age by dispersing people out of inner cities to the suburbs.

German push for universal Internet service recognizes decentralization of economy

Germany will make an additional 1.3 billion ($1.45 billion) euros in funding available to expand broadband internet access to poorly-connected regions, the Transport and Digital Infrastructure Ministry said on Friday.

The government announced plans last October to spend 2.7 billion euros as part of a push to give all households in Germany access to internet speeds of at least 50 megabytes per second by 2018.

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Better access is viewed as a crucial part of Germany’s so-called Digital Agenda, which aims among other goals to promote the digitization of industry by connecting factory floors to the internet.

Many of Germany’s small-and-medium-sized companies – known as the Mittelstand and which form the backbone of the economy – are located in rural areas.

Source: Germany boosts funds for faster internet to 4 billion euros

The last paragraph points up the profound power of advanced telecommunications to transition the economy away from the Industrial Age model where economic activity is centralized in large enterprises located in major metro areas. Apparently that’s not the case in Germany — and is likely be increasingly so in other advanced nations in the age of the Internet.

This is the first national policy that implicitly recognizes that smaller businesses located outside of central metro regions will play a key role in the evolving economy and thus require advanced telecommunications infrastructure. This also reframes what is generally referred to as “rural broadband” into larger national economic issue.