Hacking Biology, Ulcers, and Your Work Environment with Teemu Arina

Boomer Anderson
March 19, 2018
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I’ve been interested in optimal performance for quite some time but I was focusing very much into my tools, the way I use technologies, computers, methods and so on. Basically what’s outside of me and how I interact with that world, how I solve problems. I was optimizing the way I work and how I learn and all that. But doing that I discovered that health is also a key component and taking care of your temple - your body - is super important if you want to really perform, ultimately.

Affiliate Disclosure

About the Guest: Teemu Arina

Teemu is Chief Biohacker and Chairman of the board at Biohacker Center, a research center for digital health & wellness. Biohacker Center publishes the Biohacker’s Handbook series, airs the Biohacker’s Podcast, organizes the international Biohacker Summit conference and provides the Upgraded Workplace coaching & work welfare service for companies interested in taking their employee wellness and performance to the next level. In addition, the company organizes online courses, lectures & conference presentations, facilitates business opportunities for digital health & wellness industry members, provides market insights for digital health & wellness product developers and provides consultation services regarding optimal performance and better living through science. Teemu Arina is also co-author of the forthcoming Biohacker’s Handbook for optimizing health and wellbeing with technological and biological tools.

Teemu Arina is a popular keynote speaker who has presented internationally in countries such as USA, UK, Japan, Russia, the Netherlands, and Germany. He recently won Speaker of the Year by Speaker's Forum. Mr. Arina has held key advisory positions in national, international and EU development projects on topics related to online collaboration, e-learning, professional development, mobile learning and startup companies.

The Hackable Variables in Your Work Environment

The Biohacker's Handbook chapter on work (in English) is forthcoming. Ahead of the release of this chapter, Teemu shared his thoughts on the key variables in the work environment which are able to be altered for higher performance.

The Problems:

  • Limited Movement
  • Lighting
  • Air Quality
  • Water Quality
  • Stress

How to Deal with Workplace Environment Problems:

Much of this is discussed in more detail in the podcast episode.

Many of us do not move enough throughout the day. Have you ever wondered why your Fitbit or Jawbone asks you to get 10,000 steps? From an evolution perspective, our ancestors moved this much. When you are stuck at a desk during the day, how is this possible to achieve? For one, get a standing desk. A standing desk, or adjustable desk, will force you to get up and move throughout the day. In addition, you can schedule meetings over walks, coffee, or even workouts to get more movement in your day.

Our offices beam fluorescent lights throughout the day. While some may leave the office before sundown, others still work well into the night, at home, and even before bed. This is not to mention how you are staring at a screen all day long. To prevent long-term eye damage and get the most from your lights, utilize a one/two punch. Place Iris or F.lux on all of your devices. After you outfit the technology, switch your lights to Philips Hue's lights and have them follow the sun.

Studies demonstrate the continued presence of nanoparticles in our air. Some of these nanoparticles, as well as mold and other toxins, end up in our brain and lead to sub-optimal performance. Fix this potential issue by outfitting your office and home with HEPA filters.

Much of the United States tap water contains chlorine, fluoride, and potentially heavy metals. Reduce your risks through the use of a water filter. Teemu mentions Brita in the episode. Alternatives include Berkey Water Filters and Therasage (the CEO was on the show to speak about EMF here).

Stress can lead to illness. However, stress is also beneficial. Remember the last deadline? As it came closer, the deadline drove you to focus. Much of stresses impact on us has to do with our perception of stress. You build stress resiliency through techniques like meditation and breathing.

Key Highlights from Podcasting with Teemu Arina

  • How Teemu discovered biohacking through an ulcer
  • Teemu's anti-inflammatory protocol to deal with an ulcer
  • The benefits of measuring and quantified self to your health
  • How too much exercise can lead to undesired outcomes
  • The impact of lighting and air on your workplace environment
  • Why you should change to a standing, or adjustable, desk
  • How to not quit your job and turn stress into an ally
  • Adaptogenic herbs like Reishi and Rhodiola Rosea as an alternative to tea, coffee, and alcohol
  • Using systems thinking to increase cognition

Research Mentioned or Supporting Points Made

Products Mentioned

The Final Three Questions:

Teemu Arina What is the number one tool or technology Teemu uses to become more superhuman?

  • Recovery

What is Teemu's best advice for boosting cognition?

  • Your body is part of a system. Understanding that it operates as a system will lead you to fix your gut microbiome and nutrition before embarking on additional supplements.
  • Once your gut is healed, Teemu recommends balancing blood sugar values.
  • From there, you can look into Lion's Mane or Adaptogenic Herbs.

What is the best book Teemu has read on Peak Performance?

  • Peter Drucker - The Effective Executive

Episode Transcript

Teemu Arina
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