According to an Australian study, ten
thousand steps a day and pumping iron thrice a week could make employees extra
productive and extend their lifespan by five years!
Earlier studies had revealed that a person
who exercises before work or, during break hours, is likely to be more
productive and can handle stress better, in comparison to those who do not
The Body-Brain Performance Institute, in
collaboration with Swinburne University's Brain Sciences Institute, conducted a
study on 40 employees belonging to the Melbourne branch of the global software
company, SAP. The researchers provided the subjects with pedometers and
separated them into two groups.
The control group was required to take 10,000
steps a day, while the second group had to take 10,000 steps, in addition to
undergoing three resistance- training sessions designed by the researchers,
each week. It must be kept in mind that the average office worker takes only about
2000 to 3000 steps each day.
After eight weeks, the measurable components
of the subjects were analyzed. They included--brain function, alertness, energy
levels, their ability to plan, remember, simulate future scenarios and decision
making ability. These parameters were measured by employing a neuropsychological
test battery developed by the Swinburne institute where the study was
The study clearly revealed that there was a
clear association between vigorous physical activity, increased brain function
and reduced stress levels at work.
The control group who took 10000 steps per
day showed a 2 per cent improvement in their fitness level and brain function.
The study also revealed that a person's bioage (a number assigned in accordance
to health and fitness) increased by five years, while the brain activity surged
by 4 percent.
Harvard University's Productivity
Questionnaire was used to translate the employees' physical betterment into
dollar value; and it was discovered that staff who were part of the exercise
group had been instrumental in annually roping in an additional $2500 for the
The study helped to assert what earlier
studies had revealed --that regular, vigorous exercises boosts productivity,
improves brain function, decreases stress and increases overall happiness.
Nevertheless, most bosses are a wary lot with their focus solely on
productivity and with having very little to do about staff welfare.
No employer would like the idea of his
employee taking a walk in the park when he was required to be present at his
desk most of the time. But if an afternoon jog by an employee brings in more
money then it certainly worth considering. After all which boss does not like
his office to be buzzing with activity with outputs from a group of cheerful
and productive employees? It would certainly do the bosses a world of good to
harness the benefits of exercising at work place.
next time you want to bond with your colleague over a calorie -packed lunch,
consider taking a walk in the park together. It would definitely tilt the
health scales and the pay scales in your favor..!