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How to study 12+ hours per day without hurting your...

by mathboy
Tags: hours, hurting, study
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ΔxΔp≥ћ/2
#19
Jan4-08, 12:51 PM
P: 56
Does your neck get sore or just your bum?
fizziks
#20
Jan4-08, 01:20 PM
P: 241
Quote Quote by Werg22 View Post
Ahummm... Humans are a social species by nature. You can't neglect all social activity; it's not healthy.
I agree. And just sitting down 12+ hours a day isn't healthy either. If you love math so much, why not join an academic math club at your school? You know there are people out there that may share your interest similar to your commitment. Have you tried going out to the school's library to study? Don't limit yourself to just in your room.


Don't abandon all your memories of a social life. Networking is a great way to get jobs and interviewing skills are vital. If you cannot socialize with a simple person, you won't get far in life, no matter how much knowledge you have.
hrc969
#21
Jan4-08, 01:22 PM
P: 68
Quote Quote by ΔxΔp≥ћ/2 View Post
I know reading this stuff and becoming quite intelligent is very valorising. You don't have to deal with books like you do with people. IMO books are much better for you than a night drinking/doing drugs with friends. The books will not get you in trouble.

If you are not into folks, I suggest you pick up music. If only you knew how much it helps my thinking. Physicist and mathematicians tend to make great musicians.

Again, I admire your commitment. I wish I could study 12 hours straight.

However, putting all your eggs in one basket is not great either. Every day people realise that there are of people smarter than they are. Sounds funny, but many cannot deal with this fact. Some very intelligent people sometimes find problems or subjects that they find very difficult. If they do not meet their standards, should they study more? Too many people have gone nuts over the last two things.

If the above paragraph is not true, ignore it.
I know some people like which you mention I'm sort of like mathboy and this got me advanced enough for me to start taking graduate math classes in my second year of university. There was a grad student in there who was a Harvard alumni and advanced for his age. It was very depressing to him that a guy like me was in the same class. Gladly I am not like that and I feel honored to know people who are more advanced than I am or than I was at their age. But yes it can be a serious problem for some.

Quote Quote by mathboy View Post
Not me. I stayed home all Christmas day instead of being with family in order to get 12 precious hours of studying.

Ok, that's the most relevant answer so far (to my original question). I never thought of that actually. I just might try it. I'm glad to know someone else has had this problem too. Is there a special name for the type of chair I'm looking for (one that is guaranteed to never hurt your bum?). Once I know the name for that type of chair, I can simply do a google search. My bum is hurting right now as I type. Thanks.
Like I mentioned above, I am very similar to you in this studying alot. I had one particular quarter where I took 6 classes (28 units) at a quarter system school. I ended up having 6 finals on five days. I did alot of studying that quarter. I purposely chose my classes so that I wouldn't mind that much studying and still continue to study and extended number of hours. I thought that the post about taking 15 minute breaks was very relevant.
In fact what I do is that I take a 5-10 minute break. Not from studying but from sitting. During this time, there are alot of times where I will just stand up and walk around and continue reading. Sometimes I go eat some fruit or talk to my wife or play with my son. But after a little while I go back to studying and no more hurting for a while. You don't have to even take a break from sitting every hour. Every 2 or 3 hours can be good enough. But one break for 12 hour study period is probably not enough. Oh I id have to get cushions also (4). But combining that with short breaks every hour or two fixed the problem for me.

Quote Quote by Cyrus View Post
Making friends and building your network is as imporant as studying math. Studying anything for 12 hours a day is not normal. There is no such thing as 'useless memories', btw. No social network means you are making it very hard to go anywhere in life later on.
mathboy, let me also support what Cyrus is saying here. I also use to hang out with friends in high school and was not as productive as I have been now. Now it is not impossible to build a social network and study many hours a day all at once. If you make the people you socialize other advanced math majors or other people who are passionate about mathematics then that's very good. If not then you can also (should do it even in addition to what I just mentioned) talk to professors. All of my professors have been very nice and willing to talk about subjects I am studying even if they do not pertain to a class they are teaching. While this is not the same as sitting there with a book and studying this can be even more useful sometimes. What you should do is find a balance between self studying and talking to others about mathematics. In this way you can learn more and you are still communicating with other humans.
sadhu
#22
Jan4-08, 02:00 PM
P: 158
i am too a kind of person with little social interests
i find peace in my own thoughts, i do have a passion for maths and science right from my early childhood (well my child hood is not over yet)
i admire you for such dedication, but may i comment that don't study for your need ,just interest......
i am used to study 18 hours a day but that depends on what i study ....

what i only have to say to you is that
If you are truly interested in maths or physics , i bet you time does n matter , what matter is , are you satisfied or not.
malawi_glenn
#23
Jan4-08, 02:08 PM
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Friends open up contacts etc for work. When you eventually apply for PhD-position you are then working in a team. The human body is not built just for sit on a chair, go out and exercise and make friends. Find friends that you can study togheter with at least.
turbo
#24
Jan4-08, 02:10 PM
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There is a real medical risk involved in sitting for a very long time - deep vein thrombosis. If you don't get up and walk around a bit periodically, blood pools in your legs and can cause dangerous clots to develop, which could result in a pulmonary embolism.
mathboy
#25
Jan4-08, 02:12 PM
P: 182
Ok, guys. I'm going for a walk.
malawi_glenn
#26
Jan4-08, 02:12 PM
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mathboy: you dont wanna end up studying in wheel chair or in a hostiptal right? ;)
ehrenfest
#27
Jan4-08, 03:13 PM
P: 1,996
I also have the encountered the problem of aches due to over-studying. I have ADHD or something so whenever I am sitting I am always tapping my feet or tapping my hands or something. Maybe that is what makes it easy for me to study long hours. I would also recommend going to a library or somewhere where other people are studying because there it is less difficult to fall asleep and the environment seems to foster learning better.

The ache that I am most familiar with is my back, not my bum, and to solve this I usually just move to my bed or some chair that has a different contour or just shift my position.

As for your lack of interest in friends, I share that. But that is mainly because there is hardly any other undergraduate at my university who is really interested in math and physics like I am. If you go to a college with other strongly motivated math and physics students, GET TO KNOW THEM, and collaborate with them as much as possible, because your learning will increase multiple-fold when you work together. Otherwise work your bum off (pun intended) and get into MITs grad school, where there will be tons of people worth interacting with.
mathboy
#28
Jan4-08, 03:17 PM
P: 182
Ok, I'm back from the mall. Having bought nothing and heckled by a salesperson, I must say that it was a TOTAL WASTE OF TIME. Back to my studying now...
fizziks
#29
Jan4-08, 03:49 PM
P: 241
Quote Quote by turbo-1 View Post
There is a real medical risk involved in sitting for a very long time - deep vein thrombosis. If you don't get up and walk around a bit periodically, blood pools in your legs and can cause dangerous clots to develop, which could result in a pulmonary embolism.
I would seriously take his advice. My mom's friend suffered from the same problems from sitting on her sewing machine and working 14+ hours nonstop. One day she suffered spasms in her legs and had to go to the hospital.

Quote Quote by mathboy View Post
Ok, I'm back from the mall. Having bought nothing and heckled by a salesperson, I must say that it was a TOTAL WASTE OF TIME. Back to my studying now...
No it wasn't. If you don't want to take our advice, then you're wasting your time looking through these forums. Exercising or taking breaks from studying is not a waste of time. Spending 12+ hours a day on a desk studying is a waste of time. Life's too short to have your head into a book 24-7. Your health is by far more important than your studying. If you don't want to make friends and be remotely social, that's fine, but you can't live a healthy life of sitting down and studying the entire day.
quasar987
#30
Jan4-08, 03:51 PM
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Back to the topic: Someone mentioned studying lying down. Have you tried that? Personally, whenever I'm not writing, I'm lying down on my bed.
ehrenfest
#31
Jan4-08, 04:01 PM
P: 1,996
Quote Quote by fizziks View Post
Exercising or taking breaks from studying is not a waste of time. Spending 12+ hours a day on a desk studying is a waste of time. Life's too short to have your head into a book 24-7. Your health is by far more important than your studying. If you don't want to make friends and be remotely social, that's fine, but you can't live a healthy life of sitting down and studying the entire day.
If the reason that he is studying is that he is ambitious and eventually wants to get out of his chair and perhaps get out of a university that is not very stimulating and make important discoveries, I think it is fine to be reclusive. If on the other hand, he is just studying because he hates the world, that is probably not good. There are a lot of college campuses where it seems like everyone is set on maximizing their alcohol consumption, minimizing their learning, and caring enough about their careers only to graduate. If he is at a college like this, I would say ignoring the social scene is not a bad idea.

BTW, I have heard that there is a limit to how much your brain can remember from a day's worth of studying, and twelve hours of studying is probably pushing that. Make sure you break up your time between learning new things and doing practice problems.
mathboy
#32
Jan4-08, 04:08 PM
P: 182
Quote Quote by quasar987 View Post
Back to the topic: Someone mentioned studying lying down. Have you tried that? Personally, whenever I'm not writing, I'm lying down on my bed.
Yes, I've found that I sometimes have to lie down sideways on the sofa to read to relieve my sitting problems. But it only works if I'm only reading. When I want to write out my solutions (which is most of the time), I can't lie on the sofa anymore.
mathboy
#33
Jan4-08, 04:11 PM
P: 182
Quote Quote by ehrenfest View Post
BTW, I have heard that there is a limit to how much your brain can remember from a day's worth of studying, and twelve hours of studying is probably pushing that. Make sure you break up your time between learning new things and doing practice problems.
Good point. I learn about 1 section per day, which is not much, because I spend about 11 of those 12 hours doing problems from that section.
eastside00_99
#34
Jan4-08, 05:54 PM
P: 234
Quote Quote by mathboy View Post
Good point. I learn about 1 section per day, which is not much, because I spend about 11 of those 12 hours doing problems from that section.
Its comendable really: my personal hero had similar habits as you and kept it up for over 10 years of his life. Later he left mathematics though.

I would recommend, just to get some yin in your yang, that you read an interview by J.P. Serre to see what his experience of working on mathematics has been like. I don't think being a mathematician is about having encyclopedic knowledge of mathematics; to me, it is about playing with ideas, expressing them, re-expressing them, talking about them with others!!!, and so on. That's what I worries me is that you are not playing with the ideas.

To being on the level of a Harvard grad after a year: all I can say is yeah right! Being in the same class doesn't mean you are on the same level; I can sign up for Midevil French Literature 3 but doesn't mean I am on the level of Ezra Pond. Besides, four years of idle playing with mathematics combined with some solid study far outshines 1 year of straight study just in experience alone.
aXiom_dt
#35
Jan4-08, 09:08 PM
P: 24
its really surprising to see how many people are willing to discourage a individual from making something of themselves on a physics forum
NerfMonkey
#36
Jan4-08, 09:10 PM
P: 37
Quote Quote by aXiom_dt View Post
its really surprising to see how many people are willing to discourage a individual from making something of themselves on a physics forum
Yes, I agree; your post is a perfect example of why we need to encourage people to devote more time to studying (especially in the grammar department).


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