5 Numbers About Humans You Should Be Aware Of
Numbers are great, but it is what we do with them that matters. There are numbers we all our extremely conscious about such as our phone number, social security number, minutes until a shift is done, and what number is in our bank account (although the numbers never seem to match up in my head).
Like it or not our world and American society has gone extremely heavy on being digital and numbers based. Our digital world is made up of numbers and codes that warp my mind just thinking about. Anytime we see a catchy number or percentage we stop and take a moment of reflection before moving on. In the book made popular by the movie with the same name The Fault in Our Stars author John Greene addresses the idea of numbers we live by.
“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There's .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I'm likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
While the tear jerking emotions are outpouring the purpose of the words cannot be lost. We desire to have numbers that are accommodating to us and meet our ideals. The numbers we have for our life is unknown which provides great beauty and instills purpose with how we use the numbers in life for empowered living.
Humans make 3,500 decisions per day.
That’s a lot of opportunity. Imagine if someone followed your every move and internal frequency. You can tell a whole lot about a person based on the decisions they make. Many of our decisions our not done consciously. Our mindset in life has been developed to the point where we make millisecond choices without much thought. Our mindset is formed through a collection of habits we have engrained into our natural fibers. Crazy enough people will roughly make 226.7 decisions a day on simply food based on the study researchers at Cornell University (Wansink and Sobal, 2007). While food and survival (Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs) play a function in the decisions we make our passion and purpose should have an even greater influence. When you see a great number like this is makes us ponder whether are decisions meant something. Where decisions selfish or for others? Did one decision lead to production or stagnation? We as humans tend to look at the “what ifs” will be of a decision and can let fear or doubt cloud our decision making process. Jay Shetty’s 5-5-5 problem solving theory is one to think about when a big, relative term for each of us, comes about. Think about how the decision will impact us 5 days from now, 5 weeks from now, and 5 years from now. Our fear of a wrong decision clouds us from making the present choice which is so odd when you think about it. Our worry of what has not happened sets forward a series of decisions/actions.
I started by stating the incredible opportunity our decisions afford us. Instead of looking at the strategic side of decision making (which should not be pushed aside and explored) why not give yourself the chance to reckon with the fact that today you will have the amazing opportunity to make 3,500, depending on when you are reading this that number will be decreased to some level, decisions to do great things! The popular quote also used by Will Smith in the movie Hitch “Life Is Not Measured By the Number of Breaths We Take, But By the Moments That Take Our Breath Away” echoes the sentiment that the decisions we make have the opportunity over the course of a lifetime to achieve.
Use the fact that the out of the 3,500 decisions you will make in a day that they will in some way create a positive impact on you (inside and out), others (family, friends, relationships, co-workers, known/unknown), and the word.
28,800 times is the amount humans will blink in a day.
Our bodies and minds and process a lot of information to move us forward on an daily basis. To acknowledge that we go through a vast amount of information between visually seeing and listening our minds have been through so much day in and day out. The need for us to break from the things we do make us have to hit the pause button and break away at times. We blink to not only because of the many lighting increments we come across of which force us to blink and adjust our eyes, but the needed moments of rest we need throughout the day. The times we blink and rest are like a computer wanting to rest and slow down. Our blinks allow us to break from what is ongoing and rest. We tell ourselves with these blinks to slow down and break away. It allows us to rest and then move on.
Possibly then we need to think about we are doing to allow ourselves the times in our day to recover and pause. Our bodies, minds, and emotions need to back away from the hustle and bustle. To break down that number even more we will blink 15-20 times per minute. We often blink when under added stress and more reasons we cannot control. Have we ever thought that our blinks come from times to let us know we need to calm down and back away. It is our bodies intuitive signal for us to do a mini reboot or update. Imagine if we kept our eyes open every waking moment. That would be scene straight out of a scary movie. We all know we blink. As a matter of fact we just do. Do you control your blinking, when you want to blink, its frequency, or its speed? We just blink without thinking twice. We have this unconscious understanding that blinking will occur and we will just keep moving forward with whatever we were doing. In everything we do, just like blinking keep going.
To blink means we are alive. Be thankful to blink. Our physical and mental selves need these milliseconds to debrief and refresh. To make sure our blinking is on par let us take special note to get our sleep, allow our eyes mental breaks from staring at screens, and feast our eyes on great things. In addition to our normal blinking try taking a self-blinking moment where we close our eyes for an extended second or two. Remember your purpose and the passion that drives it, think of a beautiful memory, and then open back up to keep going. Using time to disengage and close our eyes will help us be better for the time we need to be at our best.
The average person in the United States will take 5,117 steps throughout a day.
This might seem like a lot. It is a number that equates to about 2.5 miles or about 4 kilometers each day for a person based on stride length. Interestingly enough though is that in America we are often behind the rest of the world when it comes to taking steps per day. According to a study Switzerland averaged 9,650 steps, Japan walked 7,168 steps, and Western Australia paced 9,695 steps. Wow!
Much of the United States will fall into working some job between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM. What do people do within that time frame? Sit…and sit some more. How do we encourage our nation to be more active and live healthier lifestyles when one of the most basic forms of movement is minimally engaged. Walking won’t burn 1,000 calories and form that killer core anytime soon, but walking is what we were made to do. Walking can connect our left and right hemispheres, get our muscles moving, and literally get our juices flowing. New standing desks, stability ball chairs, and other products have been created with the intention of trying to get us physically engaged at work. Many offices have break times with walking groups to walk around the office or property and while those are great it is only one to two times a day for ten or so minutes. Sitting drains us more than we realize, but after a while it gets so comfortable. We have limited time to walk around in our days before closing time comes around and then what do we do? Sit in a car and drive home where we hopefully don’t run into traffic causing us to sit some more before finally reaching our end destination. Then after a long day of work what is the first things many Americans do once they enter the front door…plop down on the coach and turn on the television.
Our walking in America is something we need to get better at. Maybe if you have a fitness tracking watch like I do you can track these steps on a daily basis. If you don’t know your steps I encourage you to look into a good fitness watch. I would be very interested to see the scans on people who get a high number of steps a day compared to under the average steps. What does our bone structure and posture do (back issues from sitting), do muscles hypotrophy over time, is arthritis more likely, and so many other health related things. Walking needs to be great again to borrow a common slogan. Walking and not sitting for hours on end, walking on a treadmill or outside while listening to an engaging podcast. If physical exercise increases our bodies levels of serotonin (happy chemical) then couldn’t we assume that the less steps we take the added chance we develop depression and mental health issues? I wouldn’t say it is a reach to think so. It may seem obvious, but our step count over a day leading to weeks and months have incrementally alteration to our health and wellness.
Now, while 5,117 steps can be low think about the flip side. That is over 5,000 steps that our two feet took us which for most people depending on stride length will equal two and a half miles walked (via Los Alamos National Laboratory Wellness Center study). Not to break down each and every step, but were those steps efficient? Coaching basketball and baseball I will also go over footwork with players. In sports having great to average footwork is the difference between winning and losing, scoring the basket, stopping the offense, making the play in the hole with a good runner. Just as a athlete we must look at our step efficiency. In the thousands of steps we take per day did we use them the best way we could. Did we take extra steps to many times because we were not working at our best? In whatever steps we have each day let us not be efficient with them as our steps put us into the positions for many things in life. Additionally, we can think about our steps and ask ourselves if the 5,117 steps were purposeful. Were the steps taken with a purpose? Even just going for a walk can not be purposeful if we did go about it the right way and use the time/space given. Stepping with purpose is walking with a swagger that cannot be touched or influenced by another driving our purpose.
Go out and take a walk. Set a step goal for your day. Establish an alert on your phone to get you up and walk a lap in the office. Remember each step is moving you in the direction you want to go (forwards, backwards, left, right) and we need to make more steps in our days to keep us walking in the race for the long walk.
The average person speaks at least 7,000 words a day.
Let’s look at the breakdown of this number. That is roughly 292 words per hour and 5 words a minute. Looking at the big picture that is 49,000 words a week, 196,000 a month, and 2,352,000 words a year. A little more than 140 characters, but it’s also just a baseline average. Thankfully we are not like Eddie Murphy in the movie “One Thousand Words” and actually limited. While unfortunately we have a law that comes under fire and not always offered to individuals we do have provided in our United State constitution the amendment for free speech.
We speak to various people every day. Sometimes it is the same people day in and day out and others we speak to new people every day. Verbal communication is the foundation of communication even in a world of text. 7,000 words gives us the intriguing fact that we speak quote often. Our words our extremely powerful. The word we choose to use should mean something. As intelligent beings the words in our 7,000 probably have marks on what we have learned, what we want to portray, and what we want others to understand. Dictionary.com has listed there most searched words of 2019 up to this point with the top spot going to “Exonerate” and number three being “Self-Made”. Ironic how our words, those 7,000 words we use in a day create the self we are and will be.
With much of communication and words used in the day coming from spoken word we can’t ignore the fact that so many people type and text our words out. We send text messages, email, post/comment on social media, or even write a blog. This can be looked at as part of the words we use daily. It backs up most of our spoken words and gives credence to the 7,000 we speak. People who use their written word to go the opposite way of their spoken word struggle to make headway in their life. If anything comes from thinking about 7,000 daily spoken words it should be to reflect on how are we using the words. Words have the power as previously mentioned. We have a choice in each of the words we speak daily to add value or take away joy.
Eminem’s line in his Sing For The Moment about words is true. “…they can be great or they can degrade, or even worse they can teach hate.” It is extremely important to remember that our words, those precious 7,000 words, not only have influence over ourselves but can have a direct impact on others. We think we have 7,000 words to spew off for us and as a result fail to see the influence it carries. Use words for positivity and it will have a naturally beneficial effect on your life and therefore others. Speak negative you create a negative world. The choice of words creates a huge part of our life. Words such as “can’t” should be thrown our of our vocabulary as it brings us down. What will our 7,000 words say about us if every word was tracked and logged. Our ability to use these spoken words for effective and deliberate purposes should make us think before we speak and speak with truth, honesty, and love.
The average American spends 93% of their life indoors. (87% indoors + 6% in cars)
*Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
This number, percentage, that might not be something we think about until we reflect on our previous week to consider how much time we spent outside. Obviously the location in which you live dictates this to a certain degree, but for the most part we do not deal with life threatening conditions outside our walls. Between work and home we will spend the greatest chunk of time and that is for most people inside to some degree. By doing this do we know how we are dramatically scaling our worlds down from the literally the entire world to a room or inside environment of four walls.
We easily forget that outside is a great beautiful world. By staying inside so much it also has a direct correlation to personality and mindset. We inherently limit our thinking, reduce our ambitions, think more and more inside the box than if we just spent some time (maybe going for a walk) outside. Each fall and winter many people go through a mental health illness called seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.). We can realistically impair our mental health by staying inside for too much time. This is not meant to say we have to spend the majority of our waking moments not at work, school, or other obligations outside, but we must look to make a more concentrated effort to getting outside. Time not spent walking to our car or into the store, but concentrated time.
Our comfort comes from being surrounded by walls, but maybe stepping outside we learn to embrace openness and the ability to be a bit vulnerable as Brene Brown would say. The easy choice for many is to stay inside, it is so incredibly easy. Take a leap to do something outside. Take one period and just go or break it up, either way we need to make sure that our time is not simply inside at all times of our days, months, and years.
These numbers are just numbers. It is for each of us to decide were we fall with this averages and scales. Whether you fall under or over is not the point. Becoming self-aware is. Gotcha. See while all of these numbers have great meaning they help us with one of the most essential emotional intelligence parts there is. By becoming more aware with our numbers we will grow, you will have gotten better in some regard. Look at one of these numbers and really self-reflect on it. Maybe you can discover what you are doing well or where you seem to fall short. Being aware open our eyes and allows for progressive steps. Being aware is important for us to understand. What we do with this self-awareness of numbers will help write the next set of numbered statistics in the studies of tomorrow.
Brain Post: How Much Time Does the Average American Spend Outdoors?
SnowBrains - https://snowbrains.com/brain-post-much-time-average-american-spend-outdoors/
Dictionary.com's Most Searched Words In 2019 So Far
John Kelly- Dictionary.com - https://www.dictionary.com/e/trending-words-2019/
How Many Average Daily Steps Do People Walk?
Wendy Bumgardner - https://www.verywellfit.com/whats-typical-for-average-daily-steps-3435736
Lifting Weights Might Lift Your Mood
Harvard Health Publishing - https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/lifting-weights-might-lift-your-mood
Should You Really Take 10,000 Steps a Day?
Why Do We Blink So Much?
Melissa Cronin-Melissa Cronin - https://www.huffpost.com/entry/why-do-we-blink-so-much-mental-rest_n_2377720?guccounter=1
You Speak (at Least) 7,000 Words a Day. Here's How To Make Them Count.
35,000 Decisions: The Great Choices Of Strategic Leaders
Joel Hoomans - https://go.roberts.edu/leadingedge/the-great-choices-of-strategic-leaders