People are always looking for something to give them an edge in the professional world, to optimize their performance and the performance of their company whether through SEO (as we focus on here), attending conferences and networking events, engaging in continuing education, and beyond. Hard work and dedication help pave the way for entrepreneurs to become successful in their industry. While there are numerous ways to increase productivity and efficiency in the workplace, one is often overlooked, daily exercise. Most people view exercise as a tool to help you feel better throughout the day or look good when you’re in the pool, but it can also maximize your brain’s performance. At Loud Interactive we prioritize exercise for team by engaging in daily workouts, signing up for team races/triathlons, and my favorite part, (not so) friendly competition. Having me here as the Corporate Wellness Director, the team gets individualize training programs, team training sessions, and nutrition advice to help them stay healthy and fit.
Here are 4 ways exercise helps you in the workplace and why you should make it a priority no matter what your industry:
Improves Brain Function
Task switching, attention, inhibitory control, goal management; these are all functions of higher level thinking. These skills play a major role in your aptitude for problem solving, organization, planning, and behavior.
Multiple studies found positive effects for people who exercise. Researchers found that exercise is a simple way for a healthy individual to optimize their higher order brain functions. One meta-analysis showed all participants who lead a healthy lifestyle saw improved executive functions than those who lead a sedentary lifestyle.
In a world full of flashing cell phones and continuous stream of information at your fingertips, the skill to ignore distractions and focus becomes an important tool in the workplace. Regular exercise has been proven to help people focus when other things try to grab their attention.
A study done in 2004 used two different experiments. The first compared people who were already physically fit to those who had a more sedentary lifestyle. The second compared people who were given training over several months to those who did not receive any training. In both cases, the researchers found that physically fit individuals exhibited increased focus during challenging cognitive tasks given to them.
Sharpens Short Term Memory
Short term memory, sometimes called working memory, is the information in your head that’s currently being processed. It’s involved in comprehension, interpretation, and manipulation of data.
Intensity and duration of your workouts can have different effects on your working memory. One study done in 2014 showed that participants who complete 30 min of exercise at a moderate intensity has a significant increase in working memory following completion. However, the increase memory capacity was only a short-term effect and exact duration was not measured.
Everyone experiences the mid-day lull. But instead of grabbing coffee, daily exercise can increase your energy throughout the entire day. A study from University of Georgia looked at the effect of light to moderate exercise on energy levels. They took a group of adults that lead a sedentary lifestyle but are considered healthy and introduced a low to moderate exercise routine to their day. They found an increase in energy and alertness throughout the workday in only a few weeks.
Increased critical thinking, focus, and energy throughout the workday and better working memory are only a few of the many benefits one can gain from exercising on a regular basis. Even doing light to moderate exercise for 30 min a day can help you be more productive at work, be more efficient in what you do, and possibly get you to that next level.
Looking to up the ante professionally for yourself or for your company? Focusing on digital engagement through your social media, website, SEO, and other traditional elements are important, but don’t leave out good old fashioned movement! Just as keywords and link building help pump up your SEO, a solid exercise routine will boost your performance in the workplace. Get fit, stay fit, be LOUD.