If you’ve been wondering how exercise increases productivity, you’re in luck!
Last week, a homework assignment I gave to a client included walking while creating her project management maps. She seemed surprised about this assignment – not the project planning, but the walking. This might sound like an odd set of instructions to give during a time management session, but walking is a secret productivity tool.
Studies show that exercise – in particular, walking – stimulates the creativity and problem-solving areas of your brain. I know what you might be thinking: “Study results change all the time.” One year chocolate is good for you; two years later it’s not. Sometimes red wine is good for you; other times it’s not. What’s great about neuroscience studies is that one rarely overturns another. Instead, they tend to add more details or insight to a previous one.
Here’s a round-up of studies that show how exercise increases productivity.
“Stanford researchers found that walking boosts creative inspiration. They examined creativity levels of people while they walked versus while they sat. A person’s creative output increased by an average of 60 percent when walking.” Read more in the Standford News here.
This study, which was shared by the National Institutes of Health, found that “treadmill workstations…[have] a significantly favorable impact on both physical activity and work performance.” Read the full study here.
This study by an international team found that “taking self-initiated short breaks from work in the afternoon boosted daily work engagement.” Get the details from the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology here.
This study, which was published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, found that “park walks and relaxation exercises during lunch breaks lower feelings of tension.” If your tension is lower, you’ll be more productive. Just 15 minutes of walking can change your world. Read the study here.
This study isn’t specific to exercise and productivity, but it is definitely directly related to your health, which affects your productivity. Researchers found that “increased breaks in sedentary time were beneficially associated with waist circumference.” Read this University of Queensland study here.
If you want to browse more walking vs sitting research and how exercise increases productivity, check here.
If you don’t feel like reading all of the science and research, here’s your short version: walking has tremendous benefits, including lower stress levels, better health, and improved productivity. Exercise increases productivity.