If you quit smoking or never started, you’ve already done a lot to live a longer, healthier life. But the second most dangerous activity–and the next best way to live longer– is unlikely to be on your radar. In fact, you’re probably doing it right now. I’ve written before, sitting kills. Upper back pain and fear of early death after a sickly, painful life are why I built a simple stand-up desk topper for my desk at work. Now, more reports confirm that sitting shortens your life and damages your health while you are alive, while more standing can protect you from disease, keep you thin, and make you more resilient and energetic. Every hour you sit watching television cuts 22 minutes off your life. Gretchen Reynolds reports in NYTimes.com: If an average man watched no TV in his adult life, the authors concluded, his life span might be 1.8 years longer, and a TV-less
The United States Tax Code is between 16,845 pages and 76,000 pages. No one, not even the IRS, knows what’s in it. [continued below the image] The Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, cannot do his own taxes—and he’s the cabinet secretary who “owns” the tax code. Every year, well-meaning IRS employees give taxpayers incorrect advice and instructions because of complexity. On a personal note, even though I use TurboTax and have a relatively simple tax situation, I have made at least one mistake on four of my last six tax filings. Is it any wonder that our economy’s fingernails scrape vainly along the smooth surface of the 21st century? Is it any wonder that companies like GE pay no taxes on billions in profits, while families with modest incomes struggle to get by? Complexity may not be inherently evil, but it can cause inherently evil outcomes. But what could fix it? How about this:
If you don’t know what “gamification” is, you’re in big trouble. Salesforce.com, SAP, Cisco, and many other companies (big and small) are using gamification and game science to increase engagement among distributors, sales forces, customers, and employees. Gamification is simply designing systems, programs, and products with a game designer’s eye. It’s about putting the user first, satisfying the same drives and emotions that keep people playing Angry Birds, Draw Something, or World of Warcraft. And it makes non-games more fun. In other words, it’s great design. And this white paper tells the story. I have been lucky to work with leaders in the field, like Rajat Paharia, founder of Bunchball, Natron Baxter, and Barry Kirk, a leader in the introduction of game science to the motivation, incentive, employee engagement, and consumer loyalty worlds. Nicki Powers, a pioneer in the emerging field of engagement design, drove the development of this white paper, along with Barry Kirk.