Resting the brain

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 17 June 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1611
  1. Tony Smith

    I spent last week painting my boat, with the bonus of good weather the whole time. The exertion required is just about ideal; the old paint had to be burnt off with blow lamp and scraper, the surface sanded, new paint applied—and my legs were kept occupied going up and down ladders and negotiating the ironwork of the slipway.

    By ideal exertion I am referring not so much to the preventive effects of physical activity on the risk of heart disease as to the soothing effect of labour on the mind. Painting requires some concentration on the job in hand, but once a rhythm has been established the mind can then drift off to other concerns. …

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