Those who exercise regularly have notable improvements in mental, physical, and emotional stamina versus their more sedentary colleagues. This increased stamina directly affects ability and productivity at work. The rise in alertness, productivity, and positive energy can be a deciding factor when it comes to promotions and climbing the company ladder. Physical activity also increases concentration, awareness, mental health, productivity, and illness prevention.
Energy Increase, Awareness and Productivity Boost
A study by Jim McKenna, professor of physical activity and health at Leeds Metropolitan University, reviewed 200 workers in three different work environments; a life insurance company, a university, and a computer firm. After studying individual moods on workout days and on days without exercise, the researchers found that 6 out of 10 workers reported a productivity boost at work on workout days. The workout routine helps increase blood flow to the brain, which increases awareness and focus. Workers were ready to address the day with more energy and more attention after working out for just 30 minutes. Additionally, workers reported having fewer afternoon dips in energy with a regular exercise routine. The participants were allowed to choose their favourite physical activity, from walking, to yoga at lunch, to strength training or aerobics. The end result proved that exercise increased the worker’s energy, awareness, and overall productivity at work.
Increased Physical Health
Staying on top of your physical health improves overall work ethic and task completion. The benefits of cardiovascular health include increased stamina to stay alert longer at work, helping avoid physical strain. Thirty minutes of activity, from a simple walk, to yoga, to lifting weights, five days a week helps decrease the most common work injuries and increases productivity. Every worker, from the receptionist to the warehouse associate, benefits from regular exercise routines by training muscles to respond against sprains and strains.
Improved Mental Health
Improving mental health helps increase productivity, as workers worry less and maintain mental focus throughout the day. Mind, the mental health charity reports that regular physical activity reduces stress, anxiety and depression, whether the workout is completed inside or outside. Exercise releases serotonin from the brain, which is the feel-good neurotransmitter. People with higher serotonin are better able to handle work stress, worry less, and approach projects in a more positive manner. Exercise helps workers address stress constructively, improving relationships with co-workers and creating better working relationships.
While the Guardian reported that workers in the UK took only 4.3 sick days in 2017, it also reported that these workers are more willing to struggle through illnesses while at work. Exercising regularly, whether power walking, to running, swimming, weight lifting or other types of physical activity, helps reduce the risk of illnesses and diseases, contributing to fewer days suffering through illnesses at work or fewer sick days spent at home. The improved immunity will minimise the risk of the flu and cold viruses while benefiting the body over the long term. Regular exercise also decreases the risk of obesity, heart disease, hypertension, and all long-term issues associated with these diseases. Less illness leads to greater concentration at work, and fewer long-term problems that may interfere with work. Employees who work out have more control over their working lives, as illnesses are less likely to force early retirement or other forced career decisions.
Regular exercise should be encouraged to increase every aspect of work life. When employees get regular exercise, the company as a whole benefits.