How Exercise impacts our Productivity

How Exercise impacts our Productivity

Exercising Robots are almost inconceivable. Not because they can’t do it! Just that they don’t have any needs for it. These machines are naturally enthused: they wake up every morning looking forward to their 9-5, they are as efficient on the job as they are programmed to be, they don’t crash at 3:00pm, neither do these smart machines get lonely, stressed nor random mood swings which reduces their daily productivity.  Then there are humans, more intelligent than any of the 8.6 million robots out there and are faced with the challenge of deteriorating productivity due to various factors. This is the second in the series of How does Music and Exercise impacts our productivity; this post will exploit the impact of exercise and propose simple methods we can employ to build our daily work and school performance with simple exercise routines. 

Amphitheatre Parkway California, USA lies the Googleplex, the headquarter of the innovative giant Google. The company  was ranked as the number one ‘Best Company to Work For’ in 2011 [1]. Healthy employees build healthy companies and top management at Google is well aware of this. The company increases daily productivity by supplying their employees with exercise facilities at the Googleplex in California and at their other locations across the world. 
Jim McKenna, MSc, PhD from Leeds Metropolitan University in England surveyed 210 office workers who used their company gym, rating their frame of mind, work performance, and workload. These employees normally undertake group exercise classes during the noon hour at work. Dr. McKenna reported that the ratings for mental-interpersonal performance, the ability to manage time, and productivity were significantly higher on the days the employees exercised [2]. 

Exercise has the ability to boost studying activities almost twice as much as it helps persons in the working environment. Unlike an employee with a single supervisor, only one person to report to; students have up to 5 professors all thinking their course is the only course that matters. Students spend long hours preparing for multiple exams, and absorb 3 hour of seemingly boring lecture presentations. Employees on the other hand have a few more flexibility: they can leave the desk and not miss precious exam information, they can correspond with co-workers and not disturb the office and above all, they can conveniently call in sick. Students need exercise to enhance concentration, increase blood flow and brain activity, to maintain sanity and stay confident. 

What if you don’t have access to a world class exercising facility?

It’s Simple

1. Morning walk
Pack a pair of track shoes before heading out for work or school in the mornings and leave 10-15 minutes earlier than you typically would.  Park a block or two from the office, or a few bus stops from the campus. Yes, I know you can’t power walk in your tiny dress and high heels but a brisk 10-15 minutes’ walk from the car to the office will expand your lungs and relax your mind. This frame of mind will give you the upper edge, when the lady at the front desk says good morning you won’t stop to wonder what’s good about the morning but cheerfully reply with a pep in your step.

2. Take the stairs and try a few push-ups
It’s not for emergency use only nor is it the souvenirs set aside for the day the elevator stop working. It’s the good, old traditional way of navigating between floors: THE STAIRWAY. Surveys have shown that in office buildings exceeding 5 floors, 60% of the employees have never used the stairs and 30% of the 40% that does, work on the 2nd floor, it’s pretty much the same for faculties that has an elevator. Yes it might be a little lonely, since everyone will be packed in the elevator but beside the boost in productivity the stairs are responsible for really nice legs, a firm ‘lower back’ and healthy bone structure. Stairs are a great way to burn the calories you consumed during lunch and to kill the ‘itis’ waiting for you at your 1:00pm class. Climbing the stairs after lunch fights the overwhelming feeling of drowsiness that lingers at 2:30pm, stagnating the day’s. A few push-ups in the confinement of your office space or dorm room with closed doors will eradicate the 4:00pm feeling when the only thing that seems to matter is the clock reaching 5:00pm so you can storm out of the office.

3. Turn off the AC, pull the blinds and open the windows.
You might be wondering what does any of the above have to do with exercise, but would you believe that mental health is considered more important as physical health? Yes it is. Considering the fact that it’s almost twice as easy to get an annoying co-worker or room-mate as it is getting someone you are compatible with. Opening the window cannot change this fact but it can eradicate the tension in the atmosphere allowing you to concentrate on your to-do list. Fresh air introduces a tranquil feeling, remove the carries out the stiffness in the air and relax it with a more soothing air while the breeze circulates. Pulling the blinds introduces a natural light which provides Vitamin D sometimes called the sunshine vitamin; lack of the commodity is responsible for Cardiovascular disease, affecting Bone Health, Asthma, Cancer, multiple sclerosis, infections, neurodegenerative disease, hair health and more [3].

The average Air Conditioning (AC) unit takes in the air from the room, conditions it (makes it colder) and blows it back in the same environment. Negative emotions are very contagious, if you should walk into an enclosed office and everyone looks sulky its almost twice as difficult to share a smile, inadvertently you will soon find yourself feeling down and not wanting to communicate. The AC unit then takes this energy, conditions it (makes it colder) and blows it back in the same environment. This makes work very frustrating, it induces what we call ‘mood swings’ but it’s NOT, it’s just that you are very irritable because your nature is to share smiles and relax and you’re not doing it; this makes you half as productive if any at all. Open windows and the air it brings soothes the mind and introduce an atmosphere of ‘nature at work’; a windy day can easily blow away negative emotions, especially if you are an environmentalist, cool fresh air makes you more resistive to negativity and easier  to maintain your element of happiness and productivity. Humans take deeper breaths in an natural environment therefore this exercise both builds and clears the lungs.

Exercise will deteriorate a robot parts, wear out it’s mechanical joints and kill its battery. Humans on the other hand are quite the opposite; we strengthen our bones, reduce likeliness of illness and energize our minds when we get physically active. In addition to improving your relationships and work performance, there is the added benefit of fewer medical and health-related expenses. Exercising employees have fewer sick days, and better attendance [2] assets that can contribute to the next promotion. Healthy employees build healthy companies, Google knows this and encourages their employees to ‘go for it’, and you should too.

Author – Kimroy Bailey

Follow @KimroyBailey


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  • Kimroy Bailey Reply

    Thanks for checking out my post – Feel free to add a comment or share.
    Thanks – Kimroy Bailey

    April 9, 2012 at 10:42 pm

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