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.
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.
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