When you need to knuckle down and get something done, sometimes staying in your seat all day is actually detrimental to the creative process. Sometimes, if you’re in a rut, all you need to do is take a walk somewhere to clear your head. But what are the scientific reasons behind exercise’s beneficial effects on productivity, and how can you use it to your advantage?
Let’s explore the ways that getting fit can also help you get work done.
Exercise Makes You Happier
One of the more well-known benefits of exercise is that it lifts your mood. This is because the body releases a chemical called dopamine while you work out, which is responsible for that “feel good” emotion.
However, this good feeling is more than just a positive buzz. It also crosses over into the workplace where that extra energy helps you get your work done.
A study in 2008 found that employees that exercised during their breaks saw a range of positive effects on their work life. For example, 72 percent of the workers reported better time-management skills, 79 percent felt more mentally prepared for work, and 74 percnt managed their workload better.
It wasn’t just a psychological benefit, either. There was a 25 percent increase in work without unscheduled breaks and a 22 percent increase in work getting done before a deadline. This means exercise not only makes you feel like getting more done but will actually have tangible results.
Exercise Takes Your Mind Off Work
One big problem workers face is finding a creative solution to a problem. You may be tempted to sit in your chair and rack your brain until you find a solution, and that can be stressful. The best method is to do the complete reverse of that.
Studies show that when you take an eight-minute stroll, it helps take your mind off work and engages your ability to think outside the box. This continues even after you sit down to work, meaning a single walk can fuel several hours of working.
Exercising Forces You to Take a Break
Because you can’t take a laptop with you on your walk, you’re forced to take a break when you exercise. This is useful for chronic workaholics, as they’ll usually find more reasons to keep working instead of taking a break.
Taking regular breaks from work and changing your scenery is a good way to prevent burnout. This, in turn, is a good way to keep your productivity high over long periods of time.
Why Not Exercise?
In short, exercise helps increase your productivity in multiple ways. By peeling yourself away from the desk, you’re giving yourself a break to prevent burnout. While you’re exercising, you’ll find novel, creative ways to do your work. Then, when you come back to your desk, you’ll be buzzing with a good mood and productive vibes that will help you continue.
The next time you’re feeling in a rut, don’t stay seated and bang your head against a brick wall. Get up, start moving, and see if it won’t help dislodge that mental block! If you are feeling lazy and don’t want to get up and move, try using music to increase your productivity.