The Secret Reason School is Boring

You’re sitting on it says new documentary Boredom.


You may want to sit down to read this.
Or maybe not.
According to the new documentary Boredom, school is boring. But not for the reason most people think.
School and college are often cited as chronically boring mainly because of the teaching style and the subject material. But it’s more likely because of the ingrained sedentary culture of constant sitting, according to the documentary.

“The subjects don’t make school boring,” said Boredom director Albert Nerenberg. “It’s the constant sitting. Constant sitting turns people’s brains into mush.”

According to a 2000 OECD survey of students in 35 countries, nearly half of 15-year-olds said they often felt bored at school on average. Ireland reported 67% of teenagers reporting frequent boredom, compared to 61% in the U.S.

From the onset, in almost every country in the world, students are trained to sit still in classrooms and this tradition of non-stop sitting continues well into college.

Psychologist and Author Earl Henslin, (This is Your Brain on Joy), explains in the film that it’s the immobile nature of students that will eventually make most experiences boring.“When a person stops moving, the cerebellum starts to slow down,” Henslin explains in the film. Because the cerebellum, which is largely activated by movement, is so central to the brain, that when the cerebellum deactivates, the whole brain slows down. Then the parts of the brain concerned with attention, and concentration have a tougher time operating.

“A person will have a very hard time concentrating,”said Henslin. Long term sitting causes the brain to fog up. Because you can’t pay attention, things will eventually become boring.

Still from Boredom.

Still from Boredom.

Traditionally educational styles have restricted movement for students. Desks limit movement while kids are trained to sit absolutely immobile for long stretches.

“When you look at a classroom,” said Boredom director Albert Nerenberg. “You’re basically looking at a room of people suffering the excessive effects of sedentary behaviour – listlessness, yawning, stress and inability to concentrate.”

The sedentary effect may also extend to the political arena where people are known to faint or pass out while listening to political speeches.

“When the cerebellum slows down and breathing stalls, it gets easier to faint,”said Nerenberg. “Particularly when a speech is extremely monotonous.”

A shocking scene in Boredom shows people knocked unconscious while attending speeches by US President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, among others.

“What people don’t realize is that sedentary, monotonous culture is a menace to society,” said Nerenberg. “It’s boring and it’s deadly.”

Sedentary behaviour has been linked to a number of chronic conditions including depression, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Get a copy of Boredom today!



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9 Comments on "The Secret Reason School is Boring"

  1. trompe l'oiel | Oct 6, 2014 at 5:37 pm |

    I explicitly recall, while in psych 101, being not only profoundly bored by the teaching style, but insulted that I was actually getting into debt every moment I spent in that class. I asked the professor her thoughts on the stoned ape theory, on the application of psychedelics for evolutionary purposes. She did a full frontal display of ignorance, cited Freud (vaguely) and then tried (miserably failing in the process) to conjure up some sexually centric vision of the fact that apes tripping on mushrooms would not be sexually attractive to their mates, because they are on drugs…. ‘This poor woman’ I thought, ‘has no clue what she is talking about, I deduce that the ape that could sing before the others (as a result of mushroom induced ecstatic states) had to fend off the ladies with a club.’

    I changed my major from Psychology to art as a result of this interaction and pervasive mentality throughout the universities psychology department.

    My astronomy teacher on the other hand was beyond excellent at what he did, he was bright, funny and made the class hands on and interesting. So I feel it is a case by case basis, most universities have poor quality control a lot of the time, and lack a pool to pull valuable professors from.

    • Simon Valentine | Oct 6, 2014 at 6:08 pm |

      has ever the meta gone to hell
      or never left
      have ever the bought and sold
      heard and herded
      routers on repeat
      versus learning with drug feat

    • Number1Framer | Oct 6, 2014 at 8:33 pm |

      I agree with you on the case by case basis. I started out in biology with a gifted instructor in the twilight of her career then spent the second semester staring at a lazy (tenured) moron reading verbatim from the powerpoint presentation that came with all of our textbooks. Once I switched my mind on, I also switched to art, and switched schools. There I met a German professor who was such a gifted instructor that I ended up picking up a German minor because I didn’t want to stop taking his classes. I eventually ended up becoming friends with a couple of my professors and the media collection curator of my university. There’s lessons and opportunities to learn everywhere as well as connections to make and relationships to forge. You just can’t treat learning like a timeclock job, or worse, like your head is empty and waiting for someone to fill it up in exchange for your borrowed money.

  2. mannyfurious | Oct 6, 2014 at 5:43 pm |

    Eh. It may be boring, but I’m lazy and I wanted to throw a tantrum any time the teacher/professor asked me to get out of my seat and…do something.

    The point being–if there is one–you can’t please everyone. I still think the bigger issue is the herding of hundreds, sometimes thousands of emotionally immature teenagers into one building and then forcing them to interact with each other and learn shit they couldn’t care less about for 8 hours at a time. Down with the Prussian model, or whatever.

  3. Michael416 | Oct 6, 2014 at 6:27 pm |

    A good quote related to this-

    All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.


    • Anarchy Pony | Oct 6, 2014 at 7:11 pm |

      Many of my better thoughts have indeed come from behind a push mower.

  4. Such rubbish.
    I voluntarily learn via the Internet daily in a sitting position.
    Seeking for what I WANT, rather than some bureaucratic syllabus and its coffee addicted agent.

  5. BuzzCoastin | Oct 7, 2014 at 1:40 am |

    it’s indoctrination into the work state
    nothing more
    a motivated literate human (or youtube literate)
    of reasonable intelligence
    could learn just about anything to any level
    in a few years using the internet
    butt you
    need school papers to get an indentured servant gig

  6. Reuben the Red | Oct 7, 2014 at 9:53 pm |

    Modern public education from kindergarten through Bachelor’s Degree and beyond is a matter of mind-numbing rote memorization and exercises in compliance, conformity, and obedience. School does not teach you how to learn. You are a human being (presumably) and you are literally born to learn. School is to keep you from learning.

    School is to keep you from learning. It bears repeating.

    But they do teach three important things in school, starting in kindergarten, the three things you are actually expected to learn:
    1. Sit Down.
    2. Shut Up.
    3. Don’t Touch Each Other.

    The negative social implications of number 2 and number 3 are more often discussed, but damn it human anatomy is not meant to be in a chair for long periods of time, and of course our proper psychological maturation, or lack thereof, is directly affected by our physical and physiological freedom, the freedom to do what we want when we want with our bodies. Church is always really big on telling you when to stand up and sit down too. And at major sports events.

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