Exercise—and just sweating it out, really—can make you perform better at work
By Joyce Reyes-Aguila | Photo by Matthew LeJune/Unsplash
We all know the benefits of exercise: It reduces risks of getting sick, it improves skin quality, and it makes us feel happier. But does it do us any good at work? A 2008 study by Bristol University reported by the BBC reveals that employees who exercise are “more productive, happy, efficient, and calm.” So does exercise really make employees productive? Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits that are truly encouraging and are pushing companies to integrate exercise in the workplace.
An hour of yoga or a quick run may be what we need to forget about overwhelming concerns. The Mayo Clinic explains that movement and physical activity enable us to “regularly shed” daily tensions. This makes us focus on tasks better and provide us with the energy and optimism we need to be calm and clear with everything we need to do. Instead of sitting in front of a blank screen for hours figuring out how to start a presentation, take a break. Walk around for a bit or do “exercise snacks” for a while and get rid of stressors clogging your mind.
Exercise can boost your confidence and help you feel relaxed, adds the Mayo Clinic. If you are feeling anxious at work, try getting on a bike or attending a dance class. Doing so can also improve the quality of your sleep, which is affected by stress at work. Exercise releases endorphins, our brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. Its positive effects will give you a sense of command over your body and your life, experts say.
Livestrong.com says exercise enables employees to be alert and feel more awake at work. It suggests including exercise through small changes in your daily routine such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator. In turn, you boost your productivity and enable yourself to “work correctly and to the best of your ability.”
Exercise has the ability to help you be at your optimum physical health. Developing your stamina allows you to meet the physical demands of your job. Imagine running around the venue of the next stockholders’ meeting or moving to different venues during planning sessions—or even running to the office on days when you run late.
Serotonin improves a person’s state of mind, helping them feel better and making work stressors easier to handle. Regular exercise can help us deal with stress constructively and can lead to improved relationships with co-workers.
Many companies are requiring their employees to get at least an hour of exercise. They’re even creating venues to increase physical activity among employees right in their workplace. The economic case for doing so is simple: Having healthy staff means less absences due to illness. In the United Kingdom alone, BBC.com reported last year, work-related illness accounted for around 27 million lost working days or 13.4 billion euros.
Want to stay fit anywhere? Here are the best devices to get it done
Even cafes are starting to offer higher tables for clients who get some work done in their locations. Standing desks are said to encourage movement throughout the day, reduce back pain, improve posture, and even mitigate the risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Resistance fit bands
They may look harmless, but they work on smaller and larger muscle groups like heavy weights do. These inexpensive bands are good at activating muscles in the butt.
It was created for strength training and improving balance and stability for people who work out. But employees are replacing their work chairs with stability or exercise balls to help improve their posture and strength.
Popular Science says therapy balls allow users to reposition their fingers once in a while at work and work out finger muscle groups.