If your job is physically demanding, it certainly goes without saying that increased fitness will make your job easier. But even if you sit at a desk all day, there’s a boatload of evidence that suggests a connection between exercise and productivity at work, namely through helping you be more alert.
When you workout, you essentially increase the blood flow to your brain. This helps increase your awareness and alertness, as well as improve your energy levels. On top of this, there’s evidence working out also leads to improved concentration, a sharper memory, faster learning, enhanced creativity, and lower stress, all of which seem like helpful benefits to improve performance in various jobs and careers.
There’s even evidence that working out helps improve interpersonal interactions with colleagues, namely because you’re in a better mood from the workout, and thus less likely to react in ways you might regret later. Here are a some interesting studies that examined this very phenomenon:
Office Gyms for the Win:
A study done at Leeds Metropolitan University (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/235275530_Exercising_at_work_and_self-reported_work_performance) looked at the affect of exercise among office workers who had access to a company gym at work.
The study looked at more than 200 employees from different companies. They discovered on the days the employees went to the gym during the day at work, they managed their time at work more effectively, were more productive and had better interactions with colleagues. And at the end of the day, they returned home happier.
Concentration, productivity and motivation:
A similar study from Briston University (https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/17538350810926534) looked at 200 people for three different companies. On the days the employees worked out, their concentration scores improved by a fairly significant 21 percent.
Not only that, they saw a 22 percent improvement in finishing their work on time, a 25 percent improvement for working without unscheduled breaks, and on average they felt 41 percent more motivated to work.
A University of British Columbia study (https://news.ubc.ca/2014/02/06/how-exercise-can-boost-brain-power/) discovered regular exercise that gets your heart rate up tends to increase the size of the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that affects verbal memory and learning. The ultimate theory here is that exercise might be able to help fend off dementia, which obviously will keep you in the workplace longer.
This 2016 study published in the Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review (https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/the-relationship-between-physical-exercise-and-job-performance-themediating-effects-of-subjective-health-and-good-mood-2223-5833-1000269.pdf) discovered that participants who exercised not only felt more productive at work, they also felt healthier and their mood was higher.
Their recommendation was for business owners and managers to encourage all their employees to exercise. Not surprising is the fact that it is becoming more and more prevalent for businesses to help subsidize various fitness programs for employees.
If you think you, or a group of your colleagues, could benefit from a fitness regimen—there’s also evidence that working out with colleagues goes a long way in improving your connection and communication with each other— contact us now.