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Body Electric

Author: NPR

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Our bodies are adapting and changing to meet the demands of the Information Age. What is happening? And what can we do about it? This six-part series is an interactive investigation into the relationship between our technology and our bodies...and how we can fix it.
18 Episodes
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What is Body Electric?

What is Body Electric?

2023-11-1602:461

On Body Electric, host Manoush Zomorodi investigates the relationship between our technology and our bodies... and she has a challenge for YOU.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
In this special series, host Manoush Zomorodi investigates the relationship between our technology and our bodies and asks: How are we physically adapting to meet the demands of the Information Age? Why do so many of us feel utterly drained after a day spent attached to our devices?Part one kicks off with an exploration into how economic eras have shaped the human body in the past with author Vybarr Cregan-Reid. Then, Columbia University researcher and exercise physiologist Keith Diaz and Manoush discuss his findings and propose a challenge to listeners: Let's see if we can end this cycle of type, tap, collapse together. Click here to find out more about the project: npr.org/bodyelectricTalk to us on Instagram @ManoushZ, or record a voice memo and email it to us at BodyElectric@npr.org.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
In part two: host Manoush Zomorodi delves into how we met and fell hard for the personal computer—and why we continue to have this committed, yet tortuous relationship. We hear from historian Laine Nooney on how the computer revolution forever changed the way we use our bodies at work, at school and at home. Manoush also visits the Exercise Testing Laboratory at Columbia University Medical Center where researchers collect data on how her body responds to a day of sitting compared to a day of constant movement breaks.Click here to find out more about the project: npr.org/bodyelectricWe'd love to hear from you. Send us a voice memo at bodyelectric@npr.org. Talk to us on Instagram @ManoushZ.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
In part three: host Manoush Zomorodi explores how our tech habits are causing our eyes to change shape—to elongate—which causes nearsightedness. She investigates why rates of myopia among kids are soaring. She also speaks with Maria Liu, an optometrist with a quest to slow down the progression of myopia in children by opening the first ever myopia control clinic in the United States.Later in the episode, we hear from a team of employees who tried incorporating "movement snacks" into their days for one week.Click here to find out more about the project: npr.org/bodyelectricWe'd love to hear from you. Send us a voice memo at bodyelectric@npr.org. Talk to us on Instagram @ManoushZ.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
Part 4: Below the Belt

Part 4: Below the Belt

2023-11-1728:181

In part four: host Manoush Zomorodi explores the connection between our posture and our mood. A lot of us associate our neck and back pain with spending hours hunched over our phones and laptops. But what if that hunched posture is also making us feel tired, stressed, and anxious? Neuroscientist Peter Strick discusses his groundbreaking research on why exercising our core muscles lowers our stress.Also in this episode: how a faulty, incorrect study went viral — claiming smartphones were causing people to grow horns on their backs. Science journalist Nsikan Akpan sets the record straight. Later, writer Paul Ingraham shares his daily strategy for doing movement snacks and strength building while balancing deadlines.Click here to find out more about the project: npr.org/bodyelectricWe'd love to hear from you. Send us a voice memo at bodyelectric@npr.org. Talk to us on Instagram @ManoushZ.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
In part five: host Manoush Zomorodi investigates what information overload does to our physical and mental health. Could our tech use be interfering with the critical dialogue that takes place between the body and the brain? Psychiatrist and neuroscientist Sahib Khalsa shares his latest research on interoception — the brain's ability to sense how the body is feeling — and how finding time to unplug from our devices can help us tune into our body's natural signals.Also in this episode: neurologist Caroline Olvera takes us inside the "TikTok tics" outbreak — exploring why thousands of teens developed Tourette's-like symptoms after watching TikTok videos in 2021. Plus, how a school in Washington, DC helps kids stay connected to their bodies by creating a high-movement, low-tech environment.Click here to find out more about the project: npr.org/bodyelectricWe'd love to hear from you. Send us a voice memo at bodyelectric@npr.org. Talk to us on Instagram @ManoushZ.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
In part six: host Manoush Zomorodi digs into the preliminary results of the listener study with Columbia University researcher Keith Diaz. He shares the surprising — and encouraging — initial findings from more than 20,000 listeners who tried to incorporate movement breaks into their day.Also on this episode, listener Dana Lopez Maile describes how the study was a "game changer" for her health. Yiliu Shen-Burke, founder of the augmented reality app SoftSpace, explains his vision of augmented reality. Finally, Manoush explores the future of screen time in a new era of artificial intelligence, and the inextricable convergence of humans and machines.Click here to find out more about the project: npr.org/bodyelectricLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
Last fall, over 20,000 listeners joined our study with Columbia University to take movement breaks throughout the day. They reported that the more breaks they took, the better they felt. So what's the secret to sticking with it? In this episode, host Manoush Zomorodi shares the top 10 listener tips to start moving, and keep moving, in 2024. Click here to join the Body Electric challenge: npr.org/bodyelectricLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
We've all heard of "Zoom fatigue"—that feeling of depletion and exhaustion after a long video call. New findings explain what video calls do to our brains and why they leave us feeling drained. Host Manoush Zomorodi speaks with researcher Gernot Müller-Putz about the latest findings and tips for preventing Zoom fatigue.Click here to join the Body Electric challenge: npr.org/bodyelectricLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
The Body Electric challenge has inspired tens of thousands of listeners to incorporate more movement into their days. For some, this new lifestyle has been transformative. Host Manoush Zomorodi checks in with two key members of the Body Electric community: lead researcher Keith Diaz and listener Dana Lopez Maile on how it's going since the Columbia University study officially wrapped.Click here to join the Body Electric challenge: npr.org/bodyelectric Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
We know walking is good for our bodies, our communities, and our planet. But our car-centric cities and screen-filled lives keep us sitting. Can we change? In this special bonus episode from the TED Radio Hour, we explore ideas to get us moving—including some special appearances from the Body Electric family.Guests include author Vybarr Cregan-Reid, computer historian Laine Nooney, exercise physiologist Keith Diaz, urban planner Jeff Speck, activists John Francis and Vanessa Garrison.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
To kick off Season 2 of Body Electric, host Manoush Zomorodi takes a five minute walk with writer Kelly Corrigan. Kelly shares her tips for fitting movement into her busy work schedule—while also making time for rest.Interested in taking a walk with Manoush and being featured on a future episode? Tell us about your strategies, struggles, and successes when breaking up your day with movement. Send us a voice memo at BodyElectric@npr.org.New episodes every Tuesday. Binge the entire series here.Sign up for the Body Electric Challenge here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
It's time for another 5 minute movement break! This time, Columbia researcher Keith Diaz joins Manoush to chat about how he uses his treadmill desk to stay active—without getting bogged down by timers, step counters and strict rules. Spoiler alert: Keith doesn't follow his own recommendation of taking a five minute movement break every half hour! Listen to find out what he does instead.Interested in taking a walk with Manoush and being featured on a future episode? Tell us about your strategies, struggles, and successes when breaking up your day with movement. Send us a voice memo at BodyElectric@npr.org.New episodes every Tuesday. Binge the entire series here.Sign up for the Body Electric Challenge here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
Remembering to get up and move can feel impossible, especially when you love your work and you're "in the zone." That was the case for listener Margot Cox when she signed up for our study with Columbia University last fall. As she put it, she "failed miserably." Today, Margot is ready to recommit to movement breaks. She takes a 5 minute walk with Manoush to talk through a new strategy.Interested in walking with Manoush and being featured on a future episode? Tell us about your strategies, struggles, and successes when breaking up your day with movement. Send us a voice memo at BodyElectric@npr.org.New episodes every Tuesday. Binge the entire series here.Sign up for the Body Electric Challenge here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
Many of us wear earbuds for hours at a time, sometimes all day long, and all that listening is taking a toll on our hearing. This episode, host Manoush Zomorodi investigates our headphone habits. She speaks with exposure scientist Rick Neitzel, who has partnered with Apple to create a first-of-its-kind study into how our daily sound exposure and listening patterns are affecting our hearing. Neitzel offers advice on safe listening habits that can help protect our ears in the long term.Later, Manoush takes us into the future of "consumer hearables" and how tech companies want us to never — ever— take our earbuds out.Interested in joining the Apple Hearing Study? Sign up here.Binge the whole Body Electric series here.Sign up for the Body Electric Challenge and our newsletter here.Talk to us on Instagram @ManoushZ, or record a voice memo and email it to us at BodyElectric@npr.org.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
Even if we want to put our health first, it's not always within our control. Our genetics, environment, home life, work conditions, and systemic factors all impact our wellbeing. Today, Manoush takes a 5 minute walk with Dr. Uché Blackstock, who has dedicated her career to building a more equitable healthcare system. Uché shares what it means to take care of ourselves while acknowledging the limitations we all face.Interested in walking with Manoush and being featured on a future episode? Tell us about your strategies, struggles, and successes when breaking up your day with movement. Send us a voice memo at BodyElectric@npr.org.New episodes every Tuesday. Binge the entire series here.Sign up for the Body Electric Challenge here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
Professor Jennifer Lundquist has been taking movement breaks in her office and classroom for 13 years(!) and she's learned a thing or two. Move with her and Manoush as they discuss how she's changed her wardrobe, why sitting through a three-hour lecture isn't an option, and what students think when she gets them jogging around the lecture hall.Let us know how your movement breaks are going. Send us a voice memo or email us at BodyElectric@npr.org.New episodes every Tuesday. Binge the entire series here.Sign up for the Body Electric Challenge here.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
Do you have "screen apnea"? Former Microsoft executive Linda Stone coined this term around 2007 after noticing she'd developed an unhealthy habit while answering emails: She held her breath. On this episode, she tells host Manoush Zomorodi how she tested her friends and colleagues for screen apnea and what she has done since.Then, Manoush talks to the bestselling author of Breath, science writer James Nestor, who explains how shallow breathing impacts our physical and mental health. He takes us through a simple exercise to "reset" our breath and relieve screen time stress.Binge the whole Body Electric series here.Sign up for the Body Electric Challenge and our newsletter here.Talk to us on Instagram @manoushz, or record a voice memo and email it to us at BodyElectric@npr.org.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
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