A Proven Method to Reclaim Your Body from Your Laptop

Manoush Zomorodi
2 min readJan 8, 2024

If you hate the way you feel after sitting and looking at a screen all day, this is for you.

A few months ago, NPR and I announced a special 6-part podcast series called Body Electric. As part of our investigation into how our bodies are adapting to our technology, we asked listeners to join a study with Columbia University Medical Center. In their lab, researchers found regular movement during periods of prolonged sitting improved glucose levels, blood pressure, and focus.

But we wanted to find out if people could actually integrate these breaks into their daily lives.

So, we asked participants to try taking gentle five-minute walking or marching breaks for every half hour, every hour, or every two hours of sitting time. Over 20,000 people signed up and, for those who stuck with it, the results were astounding: They reported an average of 25% less fatigue, feeling more positive and energized, and, despite the interruptions, feeling MORE engaged with their work.

TLDR: The series and the study were wildly successful beyond our expectations.

So now, we’ve taken the preliminary findings, added more reporting, and have a new invitation: Take the Body Electric Challenge for two weeks. Do it with your mom, your colleagues, or your dog!

Click here to get our quick-start guide. Then, listen to the series on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Each episode explores a different aspect of your anatomy and how technology is impacting it. If you joined the study in the fall, we’ve got new episodes to keep you going, including one on the physiological effects of Zoom and Listeners’ Top Ten Tips.

In the next few months, our friends at Columbia expect to publish a scientific paper on the results. But reconciling the relationship between you and your laptop can’t wait. Claim your body and mind before getting sucked into the vortex that is bound to be 2024.

Please find me on Instagram and LinkedIn and let me know how it goes.



Manoush Zomorodi

Journalist, mom, Swiss-Persian New Yorker. Host of @NPR’s @TEDRadioHour + @ZigZagPod. Author of Bored+Brilliant. Media Entrepreneur-ish. ManoushZ.com/newsletter