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I spend a disproportionate amount of my life stressed out of my mind. And I’m not alone. According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans, in particular, are the most stressed-out population in the world, with nearly half (45%) of poll respondents reporting that they feel worried a lot and 22% reporting that they often feel angry.
And while suburbanites and city folk seem to carry about the same amount of stress, previous reports from the American Psychological Association show that those who live in urban areas are less likely to feel as if they’re doing a good job of managing their stress (we can’t all hang out in zero gravity chairs all the time, now can we?). Which is why the latest resource made available to New Yorkers for their health and wellness sounds amazing.
During this year’s New York Design Week, which took place May 10-22, design studio donttakethisthewrongway (dtttww) debuted “Public Punching Bags,” placed on light poles in various sites around Lower Manhattan.
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A design concept for the public that explores designing common spaces for the frustrations we all face. Frustrations that go beyond designed systems and happen, well, because we are human. The public punching bag offers an outlet for these emotions as a means to maybe develop a healthier way to address personal and collective issues in a public setting. (may 15 -21, 2019) #nycdesignweek
The punching bags were hard to miss. Bright yellow, they were printed with the words “Public Punching Bag” and a fist. At the bottom appeared the warning to “use at your own risk.”
“The public punching bag offers an outlet for these emotions as a means to maybe develop a healthier way to address personal and collective issues in a public setting,” reads the description on the site.
If only this were a permanent installation. That appeared everywhere. Including where I live. Because lord knows I could use it. Instagram user Anna Kyra Hooton put it best:
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THIS. We need more of this. A public punching bag! Currently on 11th Avenue and 37th (?) Street. For every crappy dog owner who don't pick up after their dog, for every gigantic rent payment, for every dingus who stops to check their phone directly in front of a subway station entrance, for the general lack of fresh air on this island… So much angst, so little time. ð¤ð¬ð Sweeeeet release ð ð #nycadventures #newyork #manhattan #publicpunchingbag #bestinvention #iwanttostealit #AWESOME #happyactress #actressinny #annakyrahooton #happyfilmfox #nycactor #angst #newyorkproblems #relief #exhale #problemsolved
“THIS,” she writes. “We need more of this. … For every crappy dog owner who don’t [sic] pick up after their dog, for every gigantic rent payment, for every dingus who stops to check their phone directly in front of a subway station entrance, for the general lack of fresh air on this island… So much angst, so little time. ð¤ð¬ð Sweeeeet release.”
Yes. So much angst. So little time. Well said, Anna.
Until public punching bags make it to the suburbs, however, I could invest in one of those desktop punching bags. There are a number of them available on Amazon and elsewhere, like this one, which costs just $19.95:
What do you think? Would you benefit from an easily-accessible punching bag on which to pummel away the stresses of the day? Is that clever design studio onto something amazing?