Working out at work makes you work better

By Shayna Brouker • Published: December 30th, 2011
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Want to be more productive, efficient and proficient at work? The answer isn’t more caffeine, a body double or a higher salary. It’s sweat — working out at work, that is.

Sounds backward, right? The workday is already jam-packed with meetings, deadlines and emails. But researchers in the Netherlands say carving out a bit of time to get your body moving can help you work better and keep you healthier, meaning fewer sick days. As part of a study, they asked one group of workers to spend two-and-a-half hours a week exercising during work hours. Another group decreased their workday by the same amount but did not exercise. A third control group worked a normal 40-hour week.

The study found that all three groups maintained their normal level of productivity, but the exercise group actually increased their output and felt better while doing it, too. Considering that nearly two-thirds of adults don’t work out enough and about one-fourth of adults are not physically active at all, every little bit of exercise counts, too.

But if you can’t squeeze in a sweat session at work and your employer doesn’t provide a space for you to work out, you can still take steps to prevent a sedentary lifestyle. Take advantage of every opportunity to get your behind out of your seat. If possible, prop your monitor or laptop on a box so you can stand while you type. If you enjoy the luxury of a private office — or aren’t bashful about bettering your health — drop and do some pushups or squats every hour. Use the stairs instead of the elevator and take a walk during your lunch break.

You’ll come back feeling refreshed and ready to take on the afternoon’s workload. And if your boss catches on, you might just get the whole office to work out with you!