This September was my first trip to China. While I saw and did many fascinating things, including the Shanghai Furniture Fair, one of my takeaways from the whole experience was the Chinese people’s impressive ability to nap. Anywhere. On more than one occasion, my afternoon meetings revolved around waiting for people to finish their naps before we could discuss business.
For whatever reason, it had never occurred to me that napping was such a crucial part of the day. So I started looking into it and the amount of content I found on this topic was incredible. Supposedly during the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese Communist Party would force their employees to take naps every afternoon. The amount of research showing positive results after 20-30 minutes of rest post-lunch had me convinced. This brief period allows our brains to recharge and for those of us in creative roles, that is particularly important.
As mentioned, I attended the Shanghai Furniture Fair. We walked through hall after hall of chairs, tables, lighting, sofas, etc.. However, one of the times I found myself most comfortable was in the hall of office chairs. They have specifically designed office chairs to support this nap culture. They have not only an ergonomic back and seat which we’re used to in North America, but the most ergonomic neck and head supports with padded extenders which come out from under the seat to put your feet up. We laughed but this was like the Rolls-Royce of office chairs for the Chinese people.
Among all my research, I found a website (http://www.sleepingchinese.com/) which is simply a collection of photographs taken in Shanghai by a German photographer. Enjoy!