How to Keep Engaged During Your Favorite SXSW Sessions

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Austin becomes one of the biggest hubs of entertainment, music, food, and innovation in March because of South by Southwest (SXSW) festival. This massive undertaking is one of America’s biggest events and has garnered so much attention, even President Obama will be attending! Rebel Desk will also be at some of the panels, so be sure to keep an eye out and say hello if you see us in one of our “Sitting Sucks” t-shirts!

If you are lucky enough to be going, you probably are looking forward to some of the awesome panel sessions that will take place over the next few days. You’ll be absorbing all kinds of great advice and lessons. But you’ll also be doing a lot of something that is not so great: sitting. When you sit for long periods of time, you can start to lose focus and energy. Sometimes not even a few cups of coffee can help. That’s because sitting reduces your blood flow, which can essentially slow down your brain functioning. Your muscles also can feel tired and achy even though they are not doing anything.

You came all the way to SXSW to hear these great speakers. Don’t let the opportunity go to waste because you have to sit in a chair! Here are three tips for getting the most out of your SXSW sessions.

1. Try to stand for part of the session.

If there will be room to grab a chair, start the session by standing at the back of the room. Stand for awhile and then when you’re feeling like you need a break, move into a chair. If you want to start seated, pick a chair near an aisle so you can stand up without disruption. For long sessions, seats near the aisle let you move between sitting and standing several times, if necessary. You’ll feel more energized and focused and better able to take in the great advice from the speakers.

2. Don’t use that backrest.

If you have to sit in a chair, try not to sit against the backrest. You are more likely to sit with a nice, curved spine if you sit away from the backrest. You’ll also engage your core muscles and feel more energized. Backrests generally allow you to slouch, which can cause back pain and sluggishness.


3. Sit cross-legged in the chair.

Again, if you have to use a chair, sitting cross-legged in it is a nice alternative. This position allows you to open your hips and reduces the pressure on the pelvic floor. You’re also more likely to sit with a tall back rather than a hunched one.

4. Stand up to be social.

When you have opportunities in between sessions to socialize, do it on your feet. Even when you grab lunch, try to find a tall table to stand and eat instead of sitting in a chair. Increasing your standing time outside of the sessions can help you to be more alert and less achy during those talks.

Get the most out of your SXSW experience, and don’t forget, have lots of fun!

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