Chris Worfolk's Blog


Is this what mansplaining feels like?

May 27th, 2018 | Life

We’re runners. Talking about running. Tracey is explaining to me about “Parkrun” (of which I have completed 156 and am in the same running club as the guy who runs the entire thing) which is “lots of people running together”.

Apparently, I can use something called “Google” to find out more.

For background context: Adidas is holding some free running events, but they all take place in London, despite their ads targetting what seems to be everyone in the UK. They’re promoting it through an advertorial in Time Out London.

Facebook ad fails #4

May 26th, 2018 | Business & Marketing

This week’s lesson on crafting a good Facebook ad is to make sure that your image matches your sales copy. Take a look at this advert from Hunt Bike Wheels.

This ad is just confusing because it’s talking about disc wheels, but the wheels in the photo are clearly not disc wheels.

Compare it to this disc wheel from Planet X:

You’ll notice that this one looks like a disc.

Now, you could argue that I have misunderstood, and they’re actually talking about wheels with brake discs on them. Which, from the look of their website, which features a lot of wheels with brake discs on them, is probably the case.

But there aren’t even any brake discs on the image in the advert. All of this causes a lot of confusion for the user who struggles to work out what they are looking at. To avoid this, make sure your image makes sense with your sales copy.

AA travel essentials first aid kit

May 25th, 2018 | Life

I’m not sure how many people actually carry a first aid kit around in their car. But, being tediously well-prepared for most things, I do. It’s not something you really test, you just buy one, put it in the car and assume that when it comes to it, it will do its job.

In the case the AA kit I ordered from Amazon, this turned out to be a less than stellar performance. The first time I tried to use the scissors, they snapped.

I tried to duct tape them back together to get a bit of leverage but it was no use. First time I have ever needed the kit and it failed me. It’s a good job it wasn’t an emergency of things could have gone south quickly.

Tesco removing “best before” dates

May 24th, 2018 | Food

This week, Tesco announced that it was removing “best before” dates from around 70 products including apples, potatoes, tomatoes, lemons and onions.

In 2012, I wrote about how banning “best before” dates could contribute to reducing food waste. Has Tesco taken this step because of the relentless pressure of six years of being sharing my blog post? No. But I’m pleased about their decision nonetheless.

Can you help with anxiety research?

May 23rd, 2018 | Science

As part of my research at Leeds Beckett University, we’re recruiting people with anxiety to take part in a 4-week trial you can do from home using your mobile phone.

We’re giving people a range of different phone apps designed to reduce anxiety, to see which ones work and which ones don’t. As part of the research, you will need to complete some short questionnaires and use the app for four weeks. Or, you may be allocated to a waiting list in which case you will just need to complete the questionnaires.

To find out more information, and to see whether you are eligible, please see the project’s website.

More misleading Coke bottles

May 22nd, 2018 | Life

Earlier this month I wrote about how Tesco had begun selling bottles of Coca-Cola that were smaller than usual without making this clear. I went back the next week, and things got worse.

This time, I bought what I thought was a bottle of Coca-Cola peach. I grabbed it because I couldn’t see any 500ml bottles of regular coke, and so I decided this was the next best option.

Only after I had left the shop, I noticed that it was, in fact, a sugar-free version. It does say that on the bottle. But it’s in pretty small letters. And, more importantly, it’s on a red label. Traditionally, all sugar versions have been in red and sugar-free versions have been black. You can see a coke zero sugar bottle in the background on a black label.

Luckily I noticed before I had opened it and returned it for a refund. But I don’t understand Coca-Cola and Tesco are using all of these misleading tactics.

Good reads for Mental Health Awareness Week

May 20th, 2018 | Health & Wellbeing

Below, I’ve collated a bunch of my blog posts on mental health into a list of interesting stuff to read. It’s all been published here or over on the Worfolk Anxiety blog.

Does social media damage your mental health?

In May, Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and Young Health Movement published a report on the impact of social media on mental health. The TL;DR is that yes, social media can be harmful. But it also has its uses, so when used in moderation, like most things in life, can be a useful tool.

Things you should know about antidepressants

This is a pretty old article now, and if I wrote it today I would probably say way more. But it highlights a few key things to think about when deciding to go down the antidepressant route or not, and more widely, what opinion you hold of them.

Things to do when you’re well, according to people with anxiety

Mental hygiene is the things you regularly do to keep yourself mentally healthy. Just like we have a daily routine for physical hygiene and dental hygiene, there are things we can do to keep our mental health on the right track. But what actually helps? We asked people who live with anxiety.

Things to tell yourself when you’re not well, according to people with anxiety

In last week’s blog post, we looked at some good things to do when you are feeling well. But what about when you are having a rough patch and can’t find the energy to do anything? What should you tell yourself?

Will suicide nets stop jumpers at the Golden Gate Bridge?

When it comes to stopping people throwing themselves off the bridge, the question is, can a one-time intervention really save lives? Turns out the answer is yes.

We don’t need more money for mental health

You regularly hear politicians talking about how the NHS needs more money for mental health. In today’s post, I want to challenge this idea and offer a very different explanation and very different solution.

What would a mental health workout look like?

If you want to improve your physical fitness, you might work out. Maybe you would eat a high protein breakfast, hit the gym, do a warm-up followed by some intervals and then take a warm bath to recover afterwards. But what about mental wellness? What would a training session look like? What specifically would you do?

Royal wedding

May 20th, 2018 | Life

“So, Venla, now that all of the homeless people have been cleansed from the royal borough, our unelected leader can marry someone the rest of us would not be allowed to bring into the country. Can you give us a facial expression that sums up how many fucks you give about the royal wedding?”

Venla: “Yes. Yes I can.”

Evolve Sprint Triathlon

May 19th, 2018 | Sport

After visiting the Blue Lagoon for an open water swim a few weeks ago, I returned to compete in their sprint distance triathlon.

I got there one hour forty-five before the race, which was more than enough time to faff about. Despite warnings of rain, it was gloriously sunny. Too sunny in fact: despite the copious amounts of sport-specific suncream (at £8.50 per bottle) I applied, I still came away with sunburn.

54 of us took part, and I ended up about two-thirds down the rankings in 33rd. The swim went well: the water temperature had risen to a balmy 16.2 degrees C. That still feels really cold when you get in, but once you are swimming it is fine, and my hands were still mostly usable when we came out. I managed to avoid being last in the swim and things only went forward from there.

The bike course was two laps around some local roads. There were very quiet and I barely saw any cars. It’s a pretty flat course with only one real hill and no serious descending, so it suited me well. The run was a bit too warm but otherwise fine.

My official time was:

1:30:51.4

Here is a comparison between my time here and Skipton triathlon.

Stage Evolve Skiption
Swim 12:29 9:36
T1 4:09 5:46
Bike 52:06 53:05
T2 0:50 1:56
Run 21:14 23:40
Total 1:30:51 1:34:02

I put this in more because it looked interesting than that it is of any value. It’s very difficult to compare across venues as they all have different lengths. This was a 500-metre open water swim, vs the 400-metre pool swim at Skipton, but also the distance between getting out of the water and getting to my bike varies massively.

I’m fairly sure the run distance here was less than 5km as I’ve never run a 21:14 before. Skipton was also a lot hillier. But this table isn’t completely pointless. I’m pleased that my T1 time didn’t increase even though I had a wetsuit to take off this time.

It was my first race as a member of Hyde Park Harriers and it was a nice perk to be part of a club rather than hanging around like a total loner. Everyone was very friendly. A big thank you to Graeme for spotting me and Gill for bringing the bacon, and congratulations to Naomi for winning first place in the women’s category.

Next stop, Wetherby triathlon…

Up North Yorkshire sportive

May 18th, 2018 | Sport

Up North Yorkshire is a sportive organised by Fat Lad At The Back. It starts from Ilkley and goes and out and back route, with a little loop at the top, around Burnsall.

We signed up for the 40 kilometres route (the other routes were loopier) as I didn’t want to take too much out of my legs before the triathlon I had the day after. This route had a modest amount of climbing in, 523 metres, so a lot easier than the Tour de Yorkshire.

The organisation was good. There was no queue to register and toilets and changing facilities at the rugby club. The feed stop was well stocked: sausage rolls, pies, sandwiches, cakes, fruit, and we got a hot hog roast sandwich when we returned.

It took us just over two hours to complete the loop, excluding stopping at the feed station. I enjoyed doing the short route as it wasn’t just me being overtaken by a lot of faster cyclists all of the time; I did my fair share of overtaking, especially on the hills.

This may well be the most beautiful sportive I’ve done. Tour de Yorkshire had some spectacular views, but some boring roads, as well. This was just beautiful rolling hills the whole way around.

I would recommend Fat Lad At The Back events. Of course, so far I have a sample size of one. But it was enjoyable and well put together.