Expert Article | Move Your Body, Boost Your Business: 4 Reasons to Incorporate Exercise in Your Work Day  

These days, having a successful business largely depends on workers’ abilities to think and to build a strong rapport with clients and colleagues. Does this mean that workers, entrepreneurs, and executives whose jobs require little physical exertion can get away with only doing their work tasks instead of spending valuable work time on exercises and stretches? 

The title of this article likely gave away the answer already (hint: no). 

While there is plenty of evidence on the long-term benefits of physical activity on health, here are some compelling reasons related to work performance (and thus the company’s bottom line) for incorporating exercise into your work day: 

  1. Cognitive performance and focus are improved immediately following exercise 
  2. Physical activity immediately decreases anxiety and improves mood 
  3. A single session of physical activity improves sleep 
  4. Energy and blood sugar levels are improved following physical activity 

Of course, these short-term effects of exercise compound when the exercise bouts are repeated and contribute to the many long-term benefits of living a physically active lifestyle.

  1. Cognitive performance and focus are improved immediately following exercise 

Wish you could be smarter and focus better? What if I told you that you could achieve this instantly? 

Exercise doesn’t just benefit the body. It also has a huge number of benefits on the brain—so much so that the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report has a whole chapter dedicated to evidence on how physical activity impacts brain health. There is strong evidence that a single session of moderate- to vigorous- intensity physical activity improves cognition (i.e. your brain’s ability to process and respond to information) and executive function (more complex cognitive function) during the post-exercise period. This means that exercise will improve the speed and accuracy of mental processes, memory, attention, and the ability to focus and/or behave in the desired/appropriate way when exposed to irrelevant/conflicting information (known as inhibitory/interference control).  

2.  Physical activity immediately decreases anxiety and improves mood 

A single session of exercise has been shown to decrease anxiety, particularly for females, adults aged 25 years and older, and sedentary individuals. Better yet, it also boosts positive mood and emotion.  

3. A single session of physical activity improves sleep 

Getting enough quality sleep is essential for optimal work performance. Regardless of fitness level, exercise intensity, or exercise type, physical activity makes it easier for you to fall asleep and improves your sleep quality and duration. Physical activity is particularly useful for those with obstructive sleep apnea, as it decreases the severity of the condition. 

4. Energy and blood sugar levels are improved following physical activity 

Having trouble staying awake at your desk after lunch, or worse, during a meeting with your boss? Using your muscles helps to keep your blood sugar levels more stable so you’re less likely to experience dips in energy. Additionally, a single session of aerobic or resistance exercise improves feelings of energy afterward which makes sense given that exercise increases blood flow and adrenalin in the body.  

What to do today 

  1. Exercise daily and reap the benefits at work. To achieve better cognitive function, less anxiety, better mood, and more energy immediately, the sessions do not have to be long, so even a brisk walk or a few body weight squats before work or during a quick break can be beneficial. (The research indicates that the greatest improvement in cognitive function occurs following 11-20 minutes of exercise, though shorter or longer durations of exercise also provide these benefits.) 
  1. Get professional help. By doing the appropriate exercises/stretches effectively, you can attain and maintain a well-functioning, strong, and pain-free body. A qualified professional at Engineered Bodies can assess your needs and design an appropriate routine for you to do at work, at home, or at the gym so you can continue to look good, feel good, and perform well at work and in life. 
  1. Create a plan and get support. Create the environment for success—knowledge is useless without action, so how will you ensure that you include exercise into your busy schedule? Strategies such as planning ahead (when, where, what, how), having an accountability partner, creating reminders, and keeping sneakers at work can help. Better yet, having a workplace culture that actively promotes physical activity at the workplace would make it harder for you to not be physically active. 

Engineered Bodies’ Health for Wealth Corporate Services helps people move and feel better in their bodies and have a better mental performance by (1) teaching them exercises they can do throughout the day at work and (2) by creating a workplace culture where fitness, health, and safety are valued. Contact Silvia at  to get a custom solution for your needs. 

 

Engineered Bodies Stretches