Cubicles Cause Brain Damage

You always knew there was a reason you felt like hell after a day at the corporate office. Now scientists have evidence that cublicle living is bad for your brain (the ergonomics folks have known it is bad for your body for years).

I stumbled upon Kathy Sierra’s “Brain death by dull cubicle” post at Creating Passionate Users today and just loved the points it brought forth.

Scientists now have evidence that dull, lifeless environments (like a cubicle) cause the brain to stop building new neurons, a form of brain death. What fascinated me most about the article is that after years of study the scientists only recently got the revelation that it is not the brain’s inability to create new neurons that is the issue, it was the testing ennvironments for their studies (dull, boring, artificial lab environments for otherwise brilliant primates) were what caused the brain to shut down.

Now I’m not going to get bogged down in science – there are plenty of links in Sierra’s post you can follow if science is your thing. What I do find fascinating though is how empowering this discovery can be for anyone who has felt their creativity wane, their morale plummet, and their general disposition go in the toilet because of their surroundings. All you need to do to start seeing some improvement is change your environment – change the scenery and you will notice a decrease in stress and an enhanced mood.

One of the conclusions researcher Elizabeth Gould reached was that “learning heals the brain”. Introducing enriching and stimulating things into your environment, actively learning new things, and taking time to play all contribute to a more complex and capable brain. Not to mention an overall healthier state of mind.

The full article is definitely worth your time to read.

Apply this thinking to your own life:

  • Are there any stifling environments you find yourself in on a regular basis?
  • What can you do to break out of any of these “caged” enviornments?
  • What changes can you make (however small) to your current environment to make it more enriching and stimulating?

I’d love to hear some of your thoughts and experiences. Please post them in the comments section by clicking on the “Add Comment” link below this post …

tags: lesbian, success, stress, burnout, avoid burnout, lesbian business owners

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Comments

  1. What a fabulous blog, great article.

    I love when science catches up with what our bodies have been telling us.to Success comes when we free oursleves from our limits imposed our otherwise. I have encouraged team members for years to take breaks make their working space attractive, go for walks, meditate or simply connect with others. We are not meant to live in cublicles The brain our most underused resouce needs to be stimulted and finding opporunties to learn big or small is a wonderful way to use that amazing crreation stored in our heads.

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  1. Transcending Gender » The Carnival of Bent Attractions: March, 2006 says:

    […] Coach Paula G. writes at her site, Coaching4Lesbians.com: “You always knew there was a reason you felt like hell after a day at the corporate office.” You feel like crap because your brain is dying: “Scientists now have evidence that dull, lifeless environments (like a cubicle) cause the brain to stop building new neurons, a form of brain death.” That’s reason enough for anyone to flop in front of Wheel of Fortune after a long day in what Douglas Coupland referred to as “veal-fattening pen” in Generation X (”Small, cramped office workstations built of fabric-covered disassemblable wall partitions and inhabited by junior staff members. Named after the small preslaughter cubicles used by the cattle industry.” Sorry, couldn’t resist – looks like Coupland was onto something.). What can this nugget of science do for you? Paula G. elaborates on ways of boosting your brain power and creativity to get out of productivity slumps: “What I do find fascinating though is how empowering this discovery can be for anyone who has felt their creativity wane, their morale plummet, and their general disposition go in the toilet because of their surroundings.” Paula G. links to research by Elizabeth Gould (who is one of my sheros) in this post. Paula’s overall philosophy about coaching: “Being authentic and living fully are the keys to achieving success on your own terms and living your best life.” […]

How to Prioritize When Everything is a Priority

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