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Created 03 Oct 00:00

Body Electric

by NPR

Our bodies are adapting and changing to meet the demands of the Information Age. What is happening? And what can we do about it? This six-part series is an interactive investigation into the relationship between our technology and our bodies...and how we can fix it.

Copyright: Copyright 2023 NPR - For Personal Use Only


TED Radio Hour: A More Walkable World

50m · Published 23 Mar 07:00
We know walking is good for our bodies, our communities, and our planet. But our car-centric cities and screen-filled lives keep us sitting. Can we change? In this special bonus episode from the TED Radio Hour, we explore ideas to get us moving—including some special appearances from the Body Electric family.
Guests include author Vybarr Cregan-Reid, computer historian Laine Nooney, exercise physiologist Keith Diaz, urban planner Jeff Speck, activists John Francis and Vanessa Garrison.
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Thinking Long-Term: Making Movement a Lifelong Habit

12m · Published 08 Jan 08:10
The Body Electric challenge has inspired tens of thousands of listeners to incorporate more movement into their days. For some, this new lifestyle has been transformative. Host Manoush Zomorodi checks in with two key members of the Body Electric community: lead researcher Keith Diaz and listener Dana Lopez Maile on how it's going since the Columiba University study officially wrapped.
Click here to join the Body Electric challenge:

What Zoom Does To Our Brains

11m · Published 08 Jan 08:05
We've all heard of "Zoom fatigue"—that feeling of depletion and exhaustion after a long video call. New findings explain what video calls do to our brains and why they leave us feeling drained. Host Manoush Zomorodi speaks with researcher Gernot Müller-Putz about the latest findings and tips for preventing Zoom fatigue.
Click here to join the Body Electric challenge:

Top 10 Listener Tips To Keep Moving

15m · Published 08 Jan 08:00
Last fall, over 20,000 listeners joined our study with Columbia University to take movement breaks throughout the day. They reported that the more breaks they took, the better they felt. So what's the secret to sticking with it? In this episode, host Manoush Zomorodi shares the top 10 listener tips to start moving, and keep moving, in 2024.
Click here to join the Body Electric challenge:

Part 6: Walk Into The Future

34m · Published 17 Nov 19:50
In part six: host Manoush Zomorodi digs into the preliminary results of the listener study with Columbia University researcher Keith Diaz. He shares the surprising — and encouraging — initial findings from more than 20,000 listeners who tried to incorporate movement breaks into their day.
Also on this episode, listener Dana Lopez Maile describes how the study was a "game changer" for her health. Yiliu Shen-Burke, founder of the augmented reality app SoftSpace, explains his vision of augmented reality. Finally, Manoush explores the future of screen time in a new era of artificial intelligence, and the inextricable convergence of humans and machines.
Click here to find out more about the project:
We'd love to hear what you thought of the Body Electric series. Go to to share your feedback.

Part 5: The Mind-Body-Tech Connection

26m · Published 17 Nov 19:46
In part five: host Manoush Zomorodi investigates what information overload does to our physical and mental health. Could our tech use be interfering with the critical dialogue that takes place between the body and the brain? Psychiatrist and neuroscientist Sahib Khalsa shares his latest research on interoception — the brain's ability to sense how the body is feeling — and how finding time to unplug from our devices can help us tune into our body's natural signals.
Also in this episode: neurologist Caroline Olvera takes us inside the "TikTok tics" outbreak — exploring why thousands of teens developed Tourette's-like symptoms after watching TikTok videos in 2021. Plus, how a school in Washington, DC helps kids stay connected to their bodies by creating a high-movement, low-tech environment.
Click here to find out more about the project:
We'd love to hear from you. Send us a voice memo at [email protected]. Talk to us on Instagram @ManoushZ, and on Facebook @tedradiohour.

Part 4: Below the Belt

24m · Published 17 Nov 19:37
In part four: host Manoush Zomorodi explores the connection between our posture and our mood. A lot of us associate our neck and back pain with spending hours hunched over our phones and laptops. But what if that hunched posture is also making us feel tired, stressed, and anxious? Neuroscientist Peter Strick discusses his groundbreaking research on why exercising our core muscles lowers our stress.
Also in this episode: how a faulty, incorrect study went viral — claiming smartphones were causing people to grow horns on their backs. Science journalist Nsikan Akpan sets the record straight. Later, writer Paul Ingraham shares his daily strategy for doing movement snacks and strength building while balancing deadlines.
Click here to find out more about the project:
We'd love to hear from you. Send us a voice memo at [email protected]. Talk to us on Instagram @ManoushZ, and on Facebook @tedradiohour.

Part 3: Why Our Eyes Are Elongating

24m · Published 17 Nov 19:35
In part three: host Manoush Zomorodi explores how our tech habits are causing our eyes to change shape—to elongate—which causes nearsightedness. She investigates why rates of myopia among kids are soaring. She also speaks with Maria Liu, an optometrist with a quest to slow down the progression of myopia in children by opening the first ever myopia control clinic in the United States.
Later in the episode, we hear from a team of employees who tried incorporating "movement snacks" into their days for one week.
Click here to find out more about the project:
We'd love to hear from you. Send us a voice memo at [email protected]. Talk to us on Instagram @ManoushZ, and on Facebook @tedradiohour.

Part 2: When Human Met Desk

23m · Published 17 Nov 19:33
In part two: host Manoush Zomorodi delves into how we met and fell hard for the personal computer—and why we continue to have this committed, yet tortuous relationship. We hear from historian Laine Nooney on how the computer revolution forever changed the way we use our bodies at work, at school and at home.
Manoush also visits the Exercise Testing Laboratory at Columbia University Medical Center where researchers collect data on how her body responds to a day of sitting compared to a day of constant movement breaks.
Click here to find out more about the project:
We'd love to hear from you. Send us a voice memo at [email protected]. Talk to us on Instagram @ManoushZ, and on Facebook @tedradiohour.

Part 1: The Body Through The Ages

29m · Published 17 Nov 19:30
In this special series, host Manoush Zomorodi investigates the relationship between our technology and our bodies and asks: How are we physically adapting to meet the demands of the Information Age? Why do so many of us feel utterly drained after a day spent attached to our devices?
Part one kicks off with an exploration into how economic eras have shaped the human body in the past with author Vybarr Cregan-Reid. Then, Columbia University researcher and exercise physiologist Keith Diaz and Manoush discuss his findings and propose a challenge to listeners: Let's see if we can end this cycle of type, tap, collapse together.
Click here to find out more about the project:
Talk to us on Instagram @ManoushZ, and on Facebook @tedradiohour, or record a voice memo and email it to us at [email protected].

Body Electric has 11 episodes in total of non- explicit content. Total playtime is 4:15:12. The language of the podcast is English. This podcast has been added on November 26th 2023. It might contain more episodes than the ones shown here. It was last updated on April 12th, 2024 14:42.

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