We all know how important getting daily exercise is to our body and mind. However, when we think about the value of exercise, we almost ALWAYS think of the physical benefits. Lower blood pressure, more attractive physique, a healthy heart. But statistics gathered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show that only one in three adults achieve the recommended amount of physical activity each week, and more than 80% of adults do not meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities. Furthermore, over the past decade, scientists have gathered evidence suggesting that there is another, more immediate benefit of regular exercise: its impact on the way we think and how well we do our jobs.
Studies indicate that our mental firepower is directly linked to our physical regimen. According to a study conducted by Harvard Business Review there is a list of cognitive benefits that result from incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine:
- Improved concentration
- Sharper memory
- Faster learning
- Prolonged mental stamina
- Enhanced creativity
- Lower stress
Some research also suggests that exercising during work hours can pump up your performance. A study conducted by the Metropolitan University found that workers who visited the gym during work hours were more productive, managed their time better, and felt more satisfaction. The same endorphins that make you feel better also help you concentrate and feel mentally sharp for tasks at hand. This is why the research illuminating the cognitive benefits of exercise is so compelling. Exercise enables us to soak in more information, work more efficiently, and be more productive.
And yet many of us continue to perceive it as a luxury; an activity we’d like to do if only for we had more time. Since a lot of us are working from home during the COVID pandemic try trading in 30 minutes of your lunch hour for an at home gym session. It’s time to change our thinking and view exercise and physical activity as part of work itself, not just a personal indulgence. The alternative makes us less effective at our jobs and harder to get along with our colleagues.
Stay tuned for our upcoming articles highlighting research-based suggestions on how to successfully incorporate exercise into your routine and how to promote and/or incentivize exercise to your employees.