Exercise is associated with physical health and fitness. Maybe you associate exercise with weight loss or reducing your risk of physical illness. However, you may not be aware that exercise is closely linked to mental health and alertness. For these reasons, exercise during the workday is an excellent tool to improve productivity at work.
The World Health Organization recommends that adults aged 18-64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity throughout the week. Alternatively, the WHO recommends an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
ALERTNESS AND ENERGY LEVELS
Exercise increases the blood flow around your body including to your brain, this means increased awareness. Exercise improves your energy levels which can help you to feel more alert at work. Think of ways to incorporate even 10-minute bouts of exercise into your day. For example, could you walk while on a call or get outside for a brief lunchtime stroll?
With increased alertness comes improved productivity. A 2013 randomized controlled trial showed that exercise can enhance creativity, increase learning speed, sharpen memory, and improve concentration! All great reasons to exercise during your workday. In this study, the participants completed 15 minutes of moderate-intensity stationary cycling during the workday. This shows that short periods of exercise are effective.
TIPS TO INCORPORATE EXERCISE
-Stick to a daily routine which includes exercise. Commit to a 15-minute lunchtime walk daily or a 15-minute yoga session before starting your day.
-Take the stairs instead of a lift where possible or choose a longer route when walking or cycling to a destination.
-Exercise as you work. Wear a headset and move around while on a call when possible.
Start slow – begin with a 10-minute walk and build it up to a figure which is realistic and achievable for you over time.
-Listen to music you enjoy or a podcast that interests you while exercising. This way, you will look forward to the activity for this aspect also.
ERGONOMICS SUPPORT FOR YOUR COMPANY
To learn more about office setup and good ergonomics principles, you can reach out to Fit for Work at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about how an ergonomic programme within your office can increase productivity