Balance December 2017 - 33

P L AY T O W I N

W

This migh
t
be the
best news
you have
all day:
Playing
- that
magical
time when
you get
to do
whatever
you want
- well, you
really need
to do it
more
often

words by
XA NI A
TA L IO TI S
illustration by
SU E D O EK SE N

December 2017 BA LA N CE

hat is it about
Lego that we love,
long after leaving
childhood behind?
How did Angry
Birds capture our imaginations for what seems
like forever? Bonding with the kids or an excuse
to disconnect from daily pressures, playing
has become an activity that's not just nice, but
needed, if we are going to consider our wellbeing
from the cradle to grave.
Psychiatrist Dr Stuart Brown, founder of
the National Institute of Play, California,
explains humans are the most 'neotenous'
species, meaning we keep immature traits
into adulthood. 'No other creature retains
youthful playfulness as long as we do,' he says.
'We are designed - actually hardwired - to play
throughout our whole lives so when we don't, our
minds and bodies notice.'
Studies show that people who incorporate
unstructured frivolity into their daily lives (be
that doodling or throwing a ball for the dog)
have improved brain function, lower levels
of stress and are more overtly optimistic. We
know, too, that the absence of such activity can
have serious negative consequences for our
mental health. As Stuart puts it: 'The opposite
of play is not work, but depression.' While the
effects are certainly more profound if people
are prevented from playing in childhood, playdeprived adults will also demonstrate social and
emotional deterioration, becoming cranky, less
engaged and more prone to rigid thinking.
Stuart has been studying play in adults for
decades, but is pleased to have seen a growing
body of scientific evidence corroborating his
research, and more delighted still to see the
number of companies that are now providing
recreation rooms for their employees.
'Corporate giants such as Google, Microsoft,
Facebook and Linkedin took a lot of flack to
begin with when they included slides, games and
music rooms in their offices,' he says, 'but those
guys weren't just backing a gimmick. Sure they
were doing it for their staff, but just as certainly
they were doing it for their bottom line.
'Play boosts creativity; if you want your team
to innovate, make sure you provide facilities
for them to let off steam at work. That's how
you'll get the best from them.'
Take it from none other than Einstein,
who reputedly said: 'Play is the highest
form of research.' It's no surprise, then, that

33



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Balance December 2017

Balance December 2017 - 1
Balance December 2017 - 2
Balance December 2017 - 3
Balance December 2017 - 4
Balance December 2017 - 5
Balance December 2017 - 6
Balance December 2017 - 7
Balance December 2017 - 8
Balance December 2017 - 9
Balance December 2017 - 10
Balance December 2017 - 11
Balance December 2017 - 12
Balance December 2017 - 13
Balance December 2017 - 14
Balance December 2017 - 15
Balance December 2017 - 16
Balance December 2017 - 17
Balance December 2017 - 18
Balance December 2017 - 19
Balance December 2017 - 20
Balance December 2017 - 21
Balance December 2017 - 22
Balance December 2017 - 23
Balance December 2017 - 24
Balance December 2017 - 25
Balance December 2017 - 26
Balance December 2017 - 27
Balance December 2017 - 28
Balance December 2017 - 29
Balance December 2017 - 30
Balance December 2017 - 31
Balance December 2017 - 32
Balance December 2017 - 33
Balance December 2017 - 34
Balance December 2017 - 35
Balance December 2017 - 36
Balance December 2017 - 37
Balance December 2017 - 38
Balance December 2017 - 39
Balance December 2017 - 40
Balance December 2017 - 41
Balance December 2017 - 42
Balance December 2017 - 43
Balance December 2017 - 44
Balance December 2017 - 45
Balance December 2017 - 46
Balance December 2017 - 47
Balance December 2017 - 48
Balance December 2017 - 49
Balance December 2017 - 50
Balance December 2017 - 51
Balance December 2017 - 52
Balance December 2017 - 53
Balance December 2017 - 54
Balance December 2017 - 55
Balance December 2017 - 56
Balance December 2017 - 57
Balance December 2017 - 58
Balance December 2017 - 59
Balance December 2017 - 60
Balance December 2017 - 61
Balance December 2017 - 62
Balance December 2017 - 63
Balance December 2017 - 64
Balance December 2017 - 65
Balance December 2017 - 66
Balance December 2017 - 67
Balance December 2017 - 68
Balance December 2017 - 69
Balance December 2017 - 70
Balance December 2017 - 71
Balance December 2017 - 72
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/balanceseptember2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/balancejuly2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/Balance_June_2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/balancemay2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/balance_april_2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceMarch19
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceFebruary19
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceJanuary2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceDecember2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceNovember2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceOctober2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceSeptember2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceAugust2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceJuly2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceJune2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceMay2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceApril2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceMarchIssue2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceFebruary18
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceJanIssue2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/balancedecember2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/balancenovember2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceOctober2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceSeptIssue2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceJulyIssue2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceJuneIssue2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceMayIssue2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceAprilIssue2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceMarchIssue17
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceFebruaryIssue2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceJanuaryIssue2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceDecember2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceNovember2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceOctober2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceSeptember2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceJuly2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceJune2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceMay2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceLaunchEditionApril2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/Balance2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceNov
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/Balance
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com