Think you don’t have time to exercise? Think again! If you want to be more productive, whether at home or at work, then you may want to make time each day to exercise. Studies show that regular exercise can help boost productivity while a sedentary lifestyle can make people less productive in all areas of their lives. A Harvard study also linked regular exercise to a host of other benefits, including sharper memory, greater creativity and quicker learning!
Other research in workplace productivity has found a significant improvement in all aspects of employee psychological well-being (such as confidence, self-esteem, sleep and concentration levels) and a significant reduction in all types of stress among those who exercise regularly. Regular exercise also has been linked to lower blood pressure, weight loss and improved quality of life.
The benefits on the job can be substantial, several studies have found. Christopher Neck, an associate professor of management and entrepreneurship in the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, along with two co-authors, surveyed nearly 500 small business owners and found that exercise can help both reduce stress levels and increase in-office productivity and satisfaction. While some entrepreneurs found high-intensity exercise most useful, others found that low-intensity activity, such as walking, provided the biggest benefits.
The research is clear, though: You don’t need to participate in high-intensity workouts to enjoy the benefits of exercise. Research shows that moderate exercise — such as brisk walking — provides the same benefits as more rigorous activity. Try walking for thirty minutes a day, even if you have to break it into smaller time spans throughout the day. Over time, try to sneak more exercise into your day. Do you have any opportunity for some exercise at work? Exercise during work hours has its benefits, according to one study by Leeds Metropolitan University. In that study, workers who visited the gym during the workday were more productive, more satisfied with their work and better at managing their time.
How about a walking meeting? Studies have found that the act of walking leads to increases in creative thinking. If you and your staff sit a lot, this can be a great option for mixing things up a bit.
Whatever you try, increase your odds of making exercise a habit by finding activities that you enjoy doing. You’ll also want to enlist the support of family and friends and try to incorporate activity at the office as well. Finding an exercise buddy (or two!) also can help you stick with your daily exercise routine.