How to Improve the Brain Efficiency and become Younger, Smarter and Healthier

By Tony Olejnicki | Creator of HiACHIEVR Program

The GOOGLE search for “how to Improve Brain Efficiency”, will offer the advice from Wellness Gurus on motivation, brain diet, ketogenic diet, short naps, exercises, mindfulness, building strong connections and many more. These are all great snippets of advice. However for an average office worker busy and stressed with competitiveness, shortage of time and financial resources they are difficult and unrealistic to implement.

All these advises are too generic, too complex in detail and require a serious time commitment for any sensible person being able to implement any of them, even in a short form or express version.

Ask yourself this question:

Has any quick motivational program, hyped up exercise styles or trendy diet worked for you in a long term?

Most of the businesses implement office productivity tools and automation (digital transformation), protecting stressed employees from customer interface and shifting stress on customers instead. Alternatively, businesses outsource the workforce abroad, often forgetting that a customer is a key to the profit bottom line. These will make a business more profitable in a short-term, however, will make no one younger, smarter or healthier. As an example, consider banks, telecommunication businesses, and utilities just to mention some.

Imagine now, if you could improve your Cognitive Availability (Brain Efficiency) in a simple way and complete your work in half of the time available?

There are companies which do exactly that. They collaborate with employees for a win-win wellness and productivity proposition and improve profits with shorter working hours.

How do they do it?

Is this some other wellness gimmick for a psychological motivational feel-good-training?

Brain Efficiency and Productivity.

The Office Worker Productivity is closely coupled with the Brain Efficiency or Cognitive Availability, regardless of whether you are doing repetitive or creative and inventive work. The human brain works at its best in the Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) mode, which makes a perfect sense considering 300,000 years of human evolution.

NEAT is a state of continuous non-repetitive mobility at low effort level, where the body system uses fat as the fuel (Thermogenesis) to generate energy. In this state, the brain generates complex and diverse neural activity to the muscles as it keeps the body balanced in the upright position. It also monitors feedback from proprioception sensors. The heart beats at a slightly elevated level delivering an increased Oxygen level. This, in turn, energizes the brain and supporting cognitive functions. The brain is the heaviest user of Oxygen out of all human organs. It consumes as much as 25% of total Oxygen despite its comparatively small weight of about 2% of the total body weight.

Guess what happens when you sit down and stay sedentary in the chair focusing on your computer work?

It takes about 30 minutes for the body to sustain the Brain at its full cognitive availability before it settles to the resting state. The heart slows down delivering less oxygen to the brain so the brain enters a resting mode which also limits the cognition.
After one hour of a motionless sitting the Brain Cognitive Availability diminishes to a level equivalent to the sleeping condition. If you have not dosed off, you will be prompted by the brain activity to a movement with a strong pain signal in your back, shoulders, neck or maybe a cramp of your leg muscles.

As soon as you stretched your legs and took a walk to the coffee machine your brain resets to its full cognitive capacity for another 30 minutes and the Brain cognitive cycle repeats. Typically most of the sedentary office workers would repeat this cycle 6 times in a day. As a result, this offers a full cognitive engagement for about 3 hours per working day. The remaining 5 hours of the working day blend into a low Brain cognitive mode without most people realizing it.

Have you ever asked yourself any of these questions:

  • What have I done today?
  • Have you ever arrived to work by a car not remembering details of your journey?
  • Why am I behind the schedule despite working so many hours?

Becoming Younger.

Have you ever wonder why many people look older than their chronological age?

Often it is due to genetics. For most people, however, genes by themselves determine predisposition only. The condition such as a ‘speed of aging’ must be triggered by environmental factors.

In the past, we thought about aging as a static process determined by the chronological age. Since science fully explored the role of stem cells, we understand that aging is controlled by the physiological age.

The stem cells abundant and active in children and young adults diminish with age, however, they do not disappear but remain dormant until activated and can be stimulated and rebuild any organ to its original state.
In the eighties, scientists participated in BIOSPHERE2 noticed by coincident that caloric restriction diet leads to organ regeneration. In other words, the hunger causes the body to use protein as a fuel and at the same time, it stimulates a stem cell regeneration when the supporting environment becomes available.
Take the muscles for example. You can rejuvenate them through an intensive exercise and nutrition as athletes and bodybuilders do. For most healthy people it can be done to most of the body organs up to 50. However, for people with lifelong commitment, it can be done beyond 50.

Most generally healthy individuals above 30 are physiologically 5-20 years older than their chronological age due to their sedentary lifestyles and poor nutrition. The amazing thing about physiological age is that it can be lowered. NEAT with appropriate nutrition and daily exercise will lower your physiological age.

It is worth it and achievable for most people to engage in the HiACHIEVR process. It is very rewarding to retire at 65 having a body equivalent to 55 rather than 85.

50 is a pivotal age and most people have the opportunity to peak at 50 as a combination of financial status and physiological endurance and be ready to ‘climb’ their ‘Life's Everest’.

The alternative for the sedentary population is developing a sedentary condition. Half of the population over 50, in developed countries, will contract one or more, a totally preventable, sedentary condition such as diabetes, sedentary lifestyle cancers, hypertension, stroke, dementia just to mention few.

Becoming Smarter.

Brain stem cells also exist in adult bodies and can be stimulated to replace damaged neurons.
Similarly to nutritional deprivation stimulating muscle tissue rejuvenation, reducing oxygen concentration stimulates stem cell production in the brain and brain cell rejuvenation, neurogenesis.

For the last 5 years, I have observed such an effect with my clients participating in our high altitude adventures, including myself.

My original explanation stemmed from high altitude exercise physiology. I linked it to increased production of red blood cells to deliver a sufficient amount of oxygen at the high altitude. The observable effect of improved cognition and energy lasts a couple of months after returning from high altitude but the studies indicate even more long-term benefits.

The NEAT system employed in the HiACHIEVR Program helps to improve cognition through consistent increased blood flow to the brain rather than Oxygen deprivation in the low Oxygen environment. The HiACHIEVR program also offers a high altitude extension for all participants who successfully completed the HiACHIEVR program.

The HiACHIEVR Program protocols, based on personal experience in high altitude training and the latest neurological research, lead not only to physical improvement but also improve the cognition.

Tony Olejnicki – an engineer, motivator and exercise physiologist specializing in high altitude training is the creator of the HiACHIEVR Program, an inspirational program helping professional working in an office environment to improve productivity and life quality by lowering physiological age, improving cognition and optimizing personal health.

Contact us for a free consultation about the personalized transition with HiACHIEVR Program to high productivity workplace.

Occupational Health and Safety Risks of Sitting

By Tony Olejnicki | Creator of HiACHIEVR Program

A routine and personal comfort are natural parts of a human behavior and need to be disrupted at regular intervals for healthy and productive life in private or professional settings.
There are many ways to achieve that.
There is a new epidemic of public health imminent but avoidable, the office immobility. There is so much evidence now that prolonged sitting is detrimental to the human health and it lowers life expectancy. In fact, sitting is more dangerous than cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption. It kills more people than HIV infection.

  • How will the legal system deal in the future with a negligent behavior of a business causing horrendous health implications to long-term employees?
  • What is the solution?

In 50’s and 60’s it was not uncommon to think about cigarette smoking as not only harmless but the chick and beneficial to thinking. Yet tobacco industry had the evidence how unhealthy and dangerous the habit was; they denied and withdrew the research results from the public. When exposed in 80’s the industry faced serious legal implication and costs. A similar battle is raging currently with the alcohol industry. The situation is far more complex because the alcohol consumption is so entrenched in the community’s norms.
Smoking and drinking are personal issues solvable by individuals however sitting have to be addressed by the businesses. The good news is that it affects everybody equally including office workers, management, and executives. There are no particular evil forces hiding or confusing information for some nefarious gains. So it should be easy to deal with. Whether you are an office worker, manager or CEO you really don’t want to develop the sedentary condition in your 40’s and 50’s, suffer over last 15-25 working years and retire unable to enjoy retirement to the fullest.
The sedentary behavior is insidious. It happens in slow increments starting with muscle atrophy, where muscle tissue gets replaced by the fat. This affects the levels of hormones and enzymes leading often to an irreversible deterioration of other body systems. The majority of office workers experience elevated blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels leading to diabetes, heart diseases and strokes in as early as in 40’s or 50’s, what suppose to be the prime time of life.
The human body has evolved to an upright position. A prolong sitting, no matter how ergonomic the chair is, weakens skeleton and joints not being stimulated by the movement. This leads to back pain, joints pain and other conditions.
The evidence is ocean deep starting from epidemiological studies, sedentary behavior studies, physiological studies to the evidence at DNA level.
Once acquired, the sitting complications are costly, difficult and unpleasant to deal with, they may be terminal for the victim and costly for the public health system. The positive news is that the prevention is really simple and cost-effective. The simple answer is the active office work.
The active office environment is not only healthy for the office worker but it is also beneficial for the business. The mobility not only stimulates muscular system but it also wakes up neural system leading to a better self-awareness (presenteeism), productivity, creativity and increased personal energy for the office workers, so they are alert all the time and don’t doze off during the day and in particular after lunch.
Transition to the active office offered by the HiACHIEVR program is a systematic and sustainable approach with a high rate of success and cost-effectiveness.

Don't just take my word for it. Listen what world's leading researcher on mobility Dr. Levine says about a prolonged sitting

"Sitting is the next smoking" says Dr. Levine from Myo Clinic Research


Tony Olejnicki – an engineer, motivator and exercise physiologist specializing in high altitude training is the creator of the HiACHIEVR Program, an inspirational program helping professional working in an office environment to improve productivity and life quality by lowering physiological age, improving cognition and optimizing personal health.

Contact us for a free consultation about the personalized transition with HiACHIEVR Program to high productivity workplace.