Experts say taking a break from work to exercise boost our mood and increases productivity
Going for a run at lunchtime or hitting the work gym for an hour during the day keeps employees happy, more productive and calmer, according to a new study.
We all know a break from the desk and a walk around the block at lunchtime blows the cobwebs away, but scientists have now proven that exercise in the middle of the day re-energises staff, improving their concentration and problem solving when they return to their desk.
A Bristol University experiment saw two hundred people test the effect workplace gyms and exercise classes had on their efficiency levels.
Volunteers filled out questionnaires comparing a working day with no exercise with another when they hit the gym or went for a run during the day.
Jo Coulson, who led the research, commented on the findings, saying: ‘If people try to fit an active break into their working day, they might also experience the added bonus of their whole day feeling much more productive. And that always feels good in our busy lives.’
She added: ‘The suggestion is that employers who are ahead of the game in offering proper onsite facilities actually get less from their employees on days that they don’t exercise.’
However, the study did reveal that employees find it difficult to fit exercise around their busy working day and furthermore, feel guilty about leaving their desks.
Those who took part in the study admitted they felt they might be criticised by fellow staff members for taking time away from their desk.
A spokeswoman for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) encouraged action on the new findings: ‘As we spend 60% of our day in the workplace, the BHF is encouraging employers to make them healthier places for their staff through our ‘Think Fit’ programme.’