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Exercise On Workdays Has Many Benefits

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Exercising on a work day can help improve cognitive skills, time keeping and problem solving, all whilst improving you general mood…

It’s a well known fact that exercise plays a vital role in our overall health and well being, A healthy body has always been linked to a healthy mind, and a new study released this month proves how a little exercise can also improve your work day.

exercise1 Exercise On Workdays Has Many Benefits

Researchers at the University of Bristol found that employees who chose to exercise during a work day were more productive, happier and suffered less stress than on non-gym days.

The study also found that a workout before, after or during work can improve people’s general mood, cognitive skills, time keeping and problem solving.

The research, published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, is the first of it’s kind to prove that exercise during work hours has mental, as well as physical benefits.

Jo Coulson, Research Associate in the University’s Department of Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences, said:

“Our statistical results were very important…
“On exercise days, people’s mood significantly improved after exercising. Mood stayed about the same on days they didn’t, with the exception of people’s sense of calm which deteriorated…
“Critically, workers performed significantly better on exercise days and across all three areas we measured, known as mental-interpersonal, output and time demands.”

The study was based on the answers of 200 university staff and employees working for a pensions company and an IT firm.

Each participant was asked to complete a questionnaire about their mood, workload and performance on days when they exercised.

Most employees made use of a gym or classes, but others did do weight training and team sports.

The data was than compared to answers from the participants non exercise days.

  • Seventy two per cent reported improvements in time management on exercise days compared to non-exercise days.
  • Seventy nine per cent said mental and interpersonal performance was better on days they exercised.
  • Seventy four per cent said they managed their workload better.
  • The questionnaire scores were 27 per cent higher on exercise days in categories such as dealing calmly with stress and 41 per cent higher for feeling motivated to work.
  • Those who exercised were also 21 per cent higher for concentration on work, 25 per cent for working without unscheduled breaks and 22 per cent higher for finishing work on time.

Feedback from focus groups found that people who built exercise into their workday were re-energized, calmer and more able to solve problems.

Ms Coulson added:

“It’s generally well-known now that there are many physical and mental health benefits that can be gained from regular exercise…
“If people try to fit an active break into their working day, they might also experience the added bonus of their whole day feeling much more productive…
“And that always feels good in our busy lives…
“The study also begs the question whether employers can afford not to be encouraging active breaks…
“The suggestion is that employers who are ahead of the game in offering proper on-site facilities actually get less from their employees on days that they don’t exercise.”

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