I have an immense capacity for concentration — it’s like I have whatever the opposite of ADHD is. Sit me down in front of a computer with a pile of something to write or data to input (and some dope tunes) and I’ll barrel through from dusk ‘till dawn without so much as looking up. I know, I kind of hate me too.
But tons of research has found that this level of seated concentration isn’t necessarily the best thing for you. Sitting in one position for a long period of time is bad for your body and posture, so I’ve been told I should get up and move around every once and awhile. There are now apps you can download to your computer that remind you to get up and stretch every however-many minutes. Looking at a computer screen for a long time is similarly bad for you, so much so that WebMD actually has a name for what happens to you if you do this too much: “Computer Vision Syndrome.” To combat this problem, there are more app offerings that have an alarm reminding you to look away from your computer every few minutes so you can protect your eye health.
But I have another suggestion, and it’s way more fun than doing nerdy calisthenics around the office (although more power to you if you like jazzercising in your cubicle) or glancing longingly into the distance every 20 minutes to exercise your eyes: try masturbating!
OK, stay with me here. Clearly this option only really works if you work from home, because it’s not that considerate to pleasure yourself in a public setting or bathroom (unless everyone around you is down also — and if that’s the case, I really want to know what your office culture is like). But if you do work from home, I say you should consider taking a couple masturbation breaks throughout your work day. Here's why.
It’s A Mild Form Of Exercise
OK, so this actually depends on how you masturbate, which is very different person to person. But unless you push away your computer and get down in your chair in exactly the same position as you were sitting, you’ve already moved your body! And realistically, you’re gonna move around at least a little bit more during your self-love session than when you’re plugging away on your computer.
There’s a bunch of deviation in the available data, but researchers have found that a masturbation session will burn you some calories (although maybe only the same amount as chewing a stick of gum) and it definitely gets your heart rate up — plus it has a whole host of other health benefits. So basically: it’s exercise, or at the very least the physical activity you need to stay healthy (and sane) during your work day. Activity away from your desk: check.
It Gives Your Eyes A Break
(Unless you switch from data entry to watching porn, of course.) The best practice for giving your eyes a break from your computer is to look at something 20 feet away from you for a period of 20 seconds. You’re supposed to do this every 20 minutes, making this the 20-20-20 rule (which also makes it very easy to remember). So if somehow your TV is 20 feet away, congratulations! You can watch porn while supporting eye health. Also, your life is amazing, because that’s one huge apartment you’ve got.
It Relieves Stress
Let’s face it, sometimes (by which I mean often and I don’t think I’m just speaking for myself here) work can be stressful. When you’re in the office, de-stressing can mean taking a walk around the room or block, chatting with a co-worker, raiding your co-worker’s emergency chocolate drawer, or completing a quick meditation session.
But when you’re all by your lonesome you have another option: masturbation. That’s right, masturbation is a fabulous natural stress buster! This is because orgasming releases endorphins, which is a neurotransmitter brain chemical that does lots of things including — wait for it — relieving stress.
It Clears Your Head
Sometimes you’ve been working on a problem for so long you hit a wall and need to refocus. A walk works, but the science shows that masturbation may be even better! This benefit is also due to orgasm’s release of endorphins, because the chemical clears your head. It’s the same as when you go to the gym — exercise is another way to release endorphins.
It Boosts Your Energy
Maintaining high energy during the work day can be hard, particularly if you’re a night owl forced into an early bird lifestyle (raises hand). At a certain point in the day, most people hit a wall, and even caffeine stops working at some point.
While this isn’t true for everyone, if you have a vagina, chances are you’re more energized after a sexual romp — even a solo one. All orgasms (regardless of body morphology) release a body chemical called prolactin, which contributes to sleepy feelings by suppressing another chemical called dopamine, which helps keep you awake. However, some researchers say that if you have a female reproductive system, your body releases less prolactin, making you less sleepy post-orgasm. It's why a penis-owning lover is likely to pass out immediately after they’ve come, leaving you spinning your proverbial wheels.
It Makes You Happy
This may seem like an obvious point, because the whole goal of masturbation is to feel great — but this could also improve your work. Research has found that happier people are more productive. I mean, just think about all the foosball tables and razor scooters and whatever else tech companies have purchased for their employees in order to get them to think that work is fun, or at least that they work in a fun place. All I’m gonna say here is: masturbation don’t cost a thing (unless you like high-end sex toys, of course).
The Bottom Line
The daily grind is hard. Even if we’re working on projects and issues about which we feel passionately, staring at data or writing a report is rarely the single thing we want to do most in the world — even though we know it’s critical to the larger project. Taking breaks of any kind is important to keep morale up, and what better way to do that then self-pleasure?
So the next time you call out to work from home, consider stepping away from your computer and getting down with yourself, even just a few minutes. At the very least, it will be fun. And hey, the science shows it could actually improve your work output, making you a more useful member of society (in the capitalist sense, anyway).
Images: Bustle; Giphy