Exercise and Improved Work Efficiency
We all understand the benefits of regular exercise in terms of weight loss, muscle strength, and body image, but there are many other benefits associated with exercise that is often overlooked.
Exercise can improve your overall sense of well-being and work performance. Being efficient and productive at work can lead to improved time management and quality of work. Ultimately, this may lead to improved performance reviews and, who knows, maybe a raise or a promotion.
Exercise is anything that gets your heart rate up and makes you move your muscles. We can exercise by walking, running, biking, swimming, classes, and the gym.
Regulates Stress and Anxiety
Regular exercise can increase the production and brain sensitivity to hormones/neurotransmitters that regulate stress and anxiety. Your stress and anxiety level will be reduced. This leads to less distraction from non-work related issues and the more you will be able to concentrate on your work.
- Serotonin and norepinephrine can decrease feelings of stress and depression
- Endorphins help produce positive feelings and relieve pain sensation
- Cortisol, the stress hormone, is reduced
The intensity of the work-out is not crucial. Any amount of exercise can elevate your mood and reduce stress. We recommend 4-5 times per week for 30 minutes.
Improving Your Energy
Exercise can really improve your energy level. Studies show that regular physical exercise can reduce fatigue and improve your level of alertness. Having more energy will mean that you are sharper at work and will be more efficient at your job. You will find that you don’t make as many errors and do everything to the best of your ability.
Many companies subsidize local gyms which, if convenient, can be a great way to spend your lunch hour or if space allows a yoga instructor to come in during down time or after work. I often recommend to my patients that they take a brisk walk during lunch for 30 minutes.
Brain Health and Memory
Exercise can improve your cognitive function and memory. It increases blood flow to the brain providing it with nutrients such as glucose and oxygen. Also, brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a growth factor that fuels mental activity associated with higher intellect. Exercise can increase the release of this protein. You will be more alert at work allowing you to tackle difficult jobs and think through challenging tasks.
Promoting Good Health
Exercise can reduce your risk of getting sick and injured on the job. People who exercise regularly take less sick time and have more stamina to meet the expectations of their job, especially if the job is physical in nature.
Exercise reduces the risk of developing certain diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, back pain, asthma, cancer, and dementia. All of which take away from work with increased sick days and physician appointments.
Quality of Sleep
Sleep quality is significantly improved with moderate to vigorous exercise. People who exercise get to sleep quicker, sleep longer through the night and get a more restful sleep.
Exercise increases the time you spend in phase 3 sleep, the deepest phase of non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM).
When you get a good night’s rest you are not coming into work feeling exhausted by 10:00 am. You will have the stamina to work a full 8 hour day and for many of us a 14 hour day. You will have improved mental acuity for improved job performance.
We recommend that you never exercise just before bedtime (wait at least 2-3 hours before going to sleep) because it increases your core temperature and releases hormones that can keep you awake.
To put it simply, exercise offers benefits that improve your health and quality of life. It is beneficial to improve not only your physical health but mental health, mood, reduce stress, and improve sleep.
Now get off the couch and start moving.
If you have any questions contact Paspa Physical Therapy or visit our website www.paspapt.com.
By Pamela Paspa, PT