Your Brain At Work, by the Dana Alliance and The Conference Board

Sev­er­al months ago we came across an excel­lent resource for cognitive/ brain fit­ness aimed at help­ing com­pa­nies offer qual­i­ty brain health infor­ma­tion to their employees.

While it is true that we often tend to believe all this “brain fit­ness” stuff is most rel­e­vant to our par­ents and/ or grand­par­ents, trust me, if you are read­ing this, you need it. Every­one with a brain can ben­e­fit from learn­ing about how his or her brain works and how to main­tain it with prop­er care.

And, from a com­pa­ny’s point of view, aren’t “tal­ent” and “human cap­i­tal” real­ly all about brain fit­ness and cog­ni­tive performance?

Your Brain At Work - Dana Foundation and the Conference BoardThe Con­fer­ence Board and the Dana Alliance for Brain Ini­tia­tives (descrip­tions below) pub­lished in 2008 a 44-page book­let to “teach sim­ple, prac­ti­cal strate­gies for incor­po­rat­ing brain-friend­ly prac­tices into day-to-day life”.  Your Brain at work: Mak­ing the sci­ence of cog­ni­tive fit­ness to work for you is the first of three planned book­lets on cog­ni­tive fitness.

The Con­fer­ence Board and the Dana Alliance have allowed Sharp­Brains to share the fol­low­ing Action Plan with our read­ers, straight from Your Brain at work brochure. At the bot­tom of this post we also share instruc­tions on how indi­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies can get their own copies of this excel­lent brochure. 


Your Cog­ni­tive Fit­ness Strat­e­gy: An Action Plan for Brain Health

Write it down.
Putting your goals in writ­ing makes them more mean­ing­ful. Adding why you want to achieve each goal is a real motivator.

Take baby steps. 
You’ll feel over­whelmed if you try to address every aspect of brain health at once. Set priorities.

Give your­self a timeframe.
And remem­ber: That implies giv­ing your­self enough time to work at and mas­ter your goals.

Be real­is­tic.
Peo­ple who try to do too much too soon often get dis­cour­aged and give up alto­geth­er. Don’t be a vic­tim of your own ambi­tion. If your goals seem impos­si­ble, revise them.

Now, deter­mine your base­line. Think about how you mea­sure up against the healthy brain prac­tices below.

Social Inter­ac­tion
Who did I see today, and for what purposes?
What did I do to recon­nect with some­one I care about today?

Phys­i­cal Activity
How many min­utes did I walk today, includ­ing around the office?
How did I work exer­cise into my day?
Did I “walk and talk” at work, rather than email­ing or phoning?

Cog­ni­tive Stimulation
What did I learn today?
What rou­tine task did I approach dif­fer­ent­ly today?
Did I chal­lenge my mind? Did I do any­thing just for fun?

I ate ___ serv­ings of fruits and veg­eta­bles today.
3 brain-healthy things I ate today are: ____________________________________

Stress Man­age­ment
How was my stress lev­el today?
What caused me the great­est stress today? What trig­gered it?
How did I cope? How did I relax?

How well did I sleep last night? How long? Did I awak­en dur­ing the night?
If sleep was poor, do I know why?
Did I feel drowsy dur­ing the day?
Did I nap?

How you answer these ques­tions may help you deter­mine which areas of brain health you need to focus on as you map out your cog­ni­tive fit­ness plan.

Note: This con­tent has been reprint­ed with per­mis­sion of The Con­fer­ence Board and the Dana Alliance for Brain Ini­tia­tives; do not repro­duce with­out per­mis­sion from The Con­fer­ence Board/ DABI.


How to Request copies of Your Brain At Work

- Indi­vid­u­als may request free sin­gle sam­ple print­ed copies from the Dana Alliance by email­ing

- For com­pa­ny sales inquiries, please con­tact The Con­fer­ence Board­’s Cus­tomer Ser­vice at at 212 339 0345. (more infor­ma­tion at


Dana Alliance for Brain InitiativesThe Dana Alliance for Brain Ini­tia­tives is a non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion of more than 265 lead­ing neu­ro­sci­en­tists, is com­mit­ted to advanc­ing pub­lic aware­ness about the progress and promise of brain research and to dis­sem­i­nat­ing infor­ma­tion on the brain in an under­stand­able and acces­si­ble fash­ion. Recent neu­ro­science advances have shown the poten­tial for con­quer­ing the dev­as­tat­ing dis­eases and dis­or­ders of the brain that afflict mil­lions of peo­ple, rang­ing from cocaine addic­tion to learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties, from Alzheimer’s dis­ease to spinal cord injuries. Sup­port­ed entire­ly by the Dana Foun­da­tion, the Dana Alliance does not fund research or make grants.

The Conference BoardThe Con­fer­ence Board is the world’s pre-emi­nent busi­ness mem­ber­ship and research orga­ni­za­tion.  The Con­fer­ence Board cre­ates and dis­sem­i­nates knowl­edge about man­age­ment and the mar­ket­place to help busi­ness­es strength­en their per­for­mance and bet­ter serve soci­ety.  Work­ing as a glob­al, inde­pen­dent, not-for-prof­it mem­ber­ship orga­ni­za­tion in the pub­lic inter­est, The Con­fer­ence Board con­ducts research, con­venes con­fer­ences, makes fore­casts, assess­es trends, pub­lish­es infor­ma­tion and analy­sis, and brings exec­u­tives togeth­er to learn from one another.


  1. M. A. Greenstein on September 12, 2008 at 10:44

    Great find Alvaro. And to add to the good news about the Dana Foun­da­tion, it sup­ports pro­grams and research in immunol­o­gy and art edu­ca­tion — both inter-relat­ed to devel­op­ing brain health and fitness!

  2. mistah charley, ph.d. on September 16, 2008 at 10:37

    Googling, I found a down­load­able ver­sion of the booklet —

  3. Alvaro Fernandez on September 16, 2008 at 2:57

    M.A.: Yes, they sup­port many inter­est­ing ini­tia­tives, hap­py to see you have come across their work before.

    Mis­tah: that link isn’t work­ing now, so I sug­gest peo­ple inter­est­ed in get­ting a copy fol­low the instruc­tions pro­vid­ed above. (thank you for the cre­ativ­i­ty displayed!)

About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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