There was outrage in our office last week when someone discovered bubble wrap in the rubbish bin! Three of us immediately fell upon the glorious untouched length and began happily popping away. There is something immensely gratifying about that little sound. Popping those little plastic air pockets is tactile and repetitive, and makes for the perfect calming activity. Plus it makes people smile. Forget yoga and meditation; for especially stressed-out souls, jumping on the large stuff cannot be beaten.

Like many great innovations, Bubble Wrap was invented by accident. In 1957 two engineers were attempting to make textured wallpaper by capturing air bubbles between two sealed shower curtains. As wallpaper, the product was a washout and people didn’t warm to it as greenhouse insulation either. The perfect use for their product originated in 1959 when a marketer at Sealed Air pitched the product to IBM as a way of protecting their new 1401 computer during shipping. And thus, Bubble Wrap was introduced to the world. Apparently today, Sealed Air produce enough Bubble Wrap annually to wrap 10 times around the Earth. That’s a lot of stress relief.

So next time you need to step away from the computer and refocus, get those fingers popping. And if you don’t have any bubble wrap to hand, try the virtual version: http://www.puffgames.com/bubblewrap/

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