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When You Get to the End of This Headline, Remember to Breathe

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Here’s another not-precisely-publishing-related tidbit that will still be of likely interest to those of you who spend all day online: HuffPo blogger Linda Stone issues a warning about email apnea. What’s that, you ask? According to her unscientific observations around town, “The vast majority of people held their breath, or breathed very shallowly, especially when responding to email.” Why does that matter?

“Research… demonstrated that breath holding contributes significantly to stress-related diseases,” Stone writes. “The body becomes acidic, the kidneys begin to re-absorb sodium, and as the oxygen (O2), carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitric oxide (NO) balance is undermined, our biochemistry is thrown off.”

Not to mention that all that poor breathing technqiue winds up affecting the nervous system, gearing our bodies up for a “fight or flight” state totally at odds with our sedentary condition. Stone’s recommendation, abridged: Be more conscious about your breathing, and try to start from the diaphragm. To which I’d add, in all sincerity, you should consider sitting up straight and doing some at-your-desk meditation, involving full breathing, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day. And then, of course, get up and walk around.

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