Physical activity and performance at work
The health and fitness trend is exploding across the world, with social media and the press constantly telling us how important it is to exercise and eat ‘superfoods’. It is well known that the benefits of regular exercise can include: improved sleep, having more energy and burning fat etc and that regular physical activity can also improve your mental wellbeing. However, for some the idea of trying to fit in exercise on top of a busy work schedule and home life can seem daunting. What if you realised that physical activity could have a positive impact on your performance and productivity at work?
In the last few years, research has found physical activity to increase work performance by 15%. 60% of workers reported that their time management, mental performance and ability to meet deadlines improved on the days that they exercised. Research found that steady-paced aerobic exercise, such as walking, improves the brain’s problem-solving ability to make decisions quickly and more effectively. Many organisations are beginning to include some form of physical activity in their corporate strategy – 30 to 60 minutes at lunch time of resistance training, yoga or aerobic exercise. Some companies have started to provide incentives for regular physical activity with the aim of it becoming habit for employees. Some may not have the luxury of this, so here are other ways to consider fitting regular physical activity into your routine:
- Set time in your diary at lunch time to go for a regular 30-minute walk, encourage a colleague to join you and leave your phone at the office
- Could you cycle or walk to work, or park the car part way and walk/cycle the rest?
- Organise one evening a week to take part in an exercise class after work with colleagues straight from work and make it a more sociable event
- Enter a charity or fitness challenge that everyone would need to train for together.
Why not try one of these ideas for a month or so and see what impact it has on your work performance?