Exercise and productivity go hand in hand
There is irrefutable evidence that exercise is good for your physical health, increasing longevity, quality of life and reducing disease. You would struggle to find a peer-reviewed scientific study showing that (normal) exercise is bad for your body. Multiple studies also show the positive impact of exercise on your mental health, especially in people suffering from mental illness. Check out this Happiful article that I explain how you can stay motivated to exercise when you have anxiety.
More specifically, how does exercise impact your productivity?
Productivity is a word commonly bandied about these days. It is common to be found in all walks of life, from management speak to primary schools. Ever since the industrial revolution, productivity has been a key driver for business and governments. As individuals, we are constantly being pushed to find ways to be more productive, both in our personal and professional lives. But herein lies the issue; how to be more productive whilst maintaining your free time? The most obvious way seems to be to get more out of the hours that you have…….but how?
Could exercise help your productivity?
I suppose the question above is slightly loaded; of course, it can.
The most obvious example of how short bursts of exercise can increase your concentration and your mood is already working in our schools. My husband, Jack, remembers being sent to run around the block at school in double lessons. He also remembers how much this helped his concentration and mood directly afterwards. This method of getting children to move during lessons is now commonly used, to great effect.
So, if this works for little humans, what about the bigger ones? I am sure we have all experienced how a little break from your work can leave you refreshed and open up your mind to solve issues you previously found insurmountable. Whilst these little breaks are essential to productivity, taking some physical activity can help you even more. Studies have shown that physical exercise boosts all of those ‘factors’ that you and your employees are looking to increase, including problem-solving, productivity, teamwork and collaboration.
When to exercise?
I personally love working out in the morning when I can. I find that this sets me up perfectly for the day and allows me to concentrate and be more productive. If 6.30 am starts aren’t for you, then the evidence shows that any form of exercise at any point of the day will help with your productivity. Exercise increases blood flow, aids in proper sleep, increases energy levels and metabolism, all leading to increased alertness and concentration.
There is little conclusive evidence, probably owing to a lack of studies, as to the impact of exercise during your workday. I can only provide you with my personal experience. Whilst working for Mobfit in London, I took office workers for fitness programmes in their lunchtime. Not only were people adamant about the positive impact of this break on them, they believed that the time cost of taking exercise was outweighed by their increased productivity. Many of the companies who provided these services to their employees also saw the benefits of this when surveying participatory staff.
What is right for you?
When to exercise depends on so many factors, including work, family and your body. What is clear is that if you want to increase your productivity, then you should exercise at some point during the day. Whether this is taking a walk, run, doing a workout, or practising yoga. it will improve your concentration, mood and your mental capabilities.
If you want to try blowing off some steam and seeing how this impacts your productivity, then join one of my live classes:
Every Monday: 12-12.45pm, Wednesday: 8-9am, Friday 8-9am.
Don’t just take my word for it, here is what one of my clients who had previously not exercised at all said about the live classes:
“I have done two this week and can definitely feel the difference on the days my mornings have started with a class.”
If you are a business looking to provide exercise at work or at home for your employees, then please get in touch to get details on packages.