Jill Layton
June 16, 2016 4:01 pm
Shutterstock

With our busy schedules and all the technology available to us at all moments of every day, it sometimes feels impossible to just sit and do nothing. No meetings, no talking, no eating, no watching Netflix, no Candy Crush, no texting, no nothin’.

It’s hard to even type those things without wanting to do them.

Well as it turns out, folks in South Korea know how to do a whole lot of nothing, and they’re actually really good at it. During the annual Space Out Competition, a contest to see who can stare off into space the longest without losing focus, 70 contestants spaced-out for 90 minutes.

WoopsYang created the event in 2014 as a way to bring attention to how much people overwork their brains and how much they can gain by taking a break.

“I was suffering from burnout syndrome at the time, but would feel extremely anxious if I was sitting around doing nothing, not being productive in one way or another,” she told VICE. She recognized that she wasn’t the only one who felt that way. “I thought to myself, ‘We would all feel better about doing nothing if we did nothing together as a group.'”

And that’s how the Space Out Competition was born — and now it’s a sport in South Korea to do absolutely nothing.

The competition is like a full-on pageant — there are judges, a live sports sportscaster, and strict rules that include no phones, no talking, no laughing, no checking your watch and no falling asleep (that’s right — you can space out, but you CANNOT SLEEP, okay?). Over 2,000 people signed up this year, so WhoopsYang had to hold qualifying rounds to make sure she chose the best candidates.

During the competition, if a contestant feels uncomfortable for any reason or needs to use the restroom, they simply hold up one of several cards to make their request.

The winner is chosen based on heart rate. Each contestant’s heart rate is checked every 15 minutes to ensure they’re in a constant state of relaxation — and the person with the most consistently stable heart rate wins. Slow and steady wins the race. Literally.

As for the winner… Shin Hyo-Seob, a local rapper who goes by Crush, took home the trophy. “I was really determined to win,” he said. “I practiced at home.”

Practicing doing nothing is probably something we could all stand to do more of. It’s good for our health and, apparently, our athleticism.

Advertisement