How Regular Exercise Can Improve your Efficiency at Work

By Pamela Paspa at Paspa Physical Therapy

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We all understand the benefits of regular exercise in terms of weight loss, muscle strength and body image, but there are many other health benefits of exercise that are often overlooked.  

Regular exercise can improve your overall sense of well-being and work performance.  Being efficient and productive at work can lead to improved time management and quality of work.  Ultimately, this connection between exercise and focus may lead to improved performance reviews and, who knows, maybe a raise or a promotion.

The Benefits of Physical Activity Include Regulating Stress and Anxiety

Regular exercise can increase the production and brain sensitivity to hormones/neurotransmitters that regulate stress and anxiety:  serotonin – reduces stress level, endorphins – reduce pain and increase a sense of well-being and reduction of cortisol, the stress hormone.

One of the benefits of regular exercise is that your stress and anxiety level will be reduced.  This leads to less distraction from non-work related issues and improved focus for the task at hand.

The intensity of the work-out is not crucial to reap the full health benefits of exercise.  Any amount of exercise can elevate your mood and reduce stress. We recommend 4-5 times per week for 30 minutes.

Regular Exercise Improves Your Energy

Regular physical exercise can reduce fatigue and improve your level of alertness.

Having more energy will mean that you are sharper at work and will be more efficient at your job. Essentially, exercise increases productivity. As a result, you will find that you don’t make as many errors and do everything to the best of your ability.

Many companies subsidize local gyms which, if convenient, can be a great way to spend your lunch hour or if space allows having a yoga instructor come in during downtime or after work. I often recommend to my patients that they take a brisk walk during lunch for 30 minutes to get these physical benefits of exercise.   

Get Better Focus, Brain Health, and Memory From Exercise

The benefits of physical activity can include n improving your cognitive function and memory. Regular exercise increases blood flow to the brain providing it with nutrients such as glucose and oxygen. Also, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a growth factor that fuels mental activity associated with higher intellect.  Exercise and focus are related in that physical activity can increase the release of this protein.

Among the benefits of regular exercise in relation to your brain health, you will be more alert at work allowing you to tackle difficult jobs and think through challenging tasks.

Experience the Benefits of Physical Good Health Through Exercise

Exercise not only increases productivity by improving mental health; it can also reduce your risk of getting sick and injured on the job.  People who exercise regularly take less sick time and have more stamina to meet the expectations of their job, especially if the job is physical in nature.

The health benefits of exercise include a reduced risk of developing certain diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, back pain, asthma, cancer, and dementia. All of which take away from work with increased sick days and physician appointments.

Reap the Benefits of Exercise When it Comes to Quality of Sleep

Sleep quality is significantly improved with moderate to vigorous regular exercise. People who exercise get to sleep quicker, sleep longer through the night and get a more restful sleep.

These physical benefits of exercise can be explained by the fact that activity increases the time you spend in phase 3 sleep, the deepest phase of non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM).  

When you get a good night’s rest you are not coming into work feeling exhausted by 10:00 am. Exercise increases productivity because you will now have the stamina to work a full 8 hour day and for many of us a 14 hour day. As a result of regular exercise, you will have improved mental acuity for improved job performance.

We recommend that you never exercise just before bedtime (wait at least 2-3 hours before going to sleep) because it increases your core temperature and releases hormones that can keep you awake.

Bottom Line of the Benefits of Physical Activity

To put it simply, the benefits of regular exercise include effects improve your health and quality of life.  It is beneficial to improve not only your physical health but mental health, mood, reduce stress and improve sleep. This all leads to improved work performance and efficiency.

Now get off the couch and start moving.

When starting an exercise program and starting to take advantage of the many health benefits of exercise, make sure you consult with a qualified practitioner to put together a safe and individualized program to avoid any risk of injury or overuse.

If you are interested in finding a physical therapy clinic to help you safely develop an exercise program, you can request an appointment for physical therapy at hundreds of quality clinics in your area through the BetterPT website and BetterPT mobile app. Don’t wait to start enjoying the benefits of exercise! Book your physical therapy session today.

It's now easier than ever to book a PT appointment; you don't even need a doctor's referral! With direct access, you can get the treatment you need without the long wait, calls with insurance, or stress that usually comes along with booking. 

Dr. Pamela Paspa graduated magna cum laude from New York University’s Physical Therapy Program. She immediately went to work at Mount Sinai Hospital, rotating through the acute care, inpatient rehab, and outpatient orthopedic departments. She soon realized that her passion was in orthopedics, and for the next 10 years Pam worked in private practice specializing in sports medicine and orthopedics until opening her private practice, Paspa Physical Therapy, in 1999.

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