Fit for purpose – how exercise can enhance work performance
Couch potatoes arise – there is now a proven link between fitness, productivity and, potentially, earnings.
According to research from the Body Brain Performance Institute (BBPI), a Melbourne-based executive performance leadership centre, walking 8km a day and doing three intensive gymnasium workouts a week will increase productivity by $4,500 a year.
Last year, the BBPI organized two groups of 40 professionals into an eight week program testing links between exercise, brain function and productivity.
While both groups did the 8km of walking each day, the second group also undertook three strenuous gym sessions a week.
While the walk-only group improved marginally, the planning, memory and decision-making functions of the second group improved rapidly. Translating into dollars, an executive earning $150,000 per annum would contribute an extra $4,500 a year to the firm in productivity.
The walk-plus-gym group also had a 50 percent decrease in levels of stress and anger.
This study is buttressed by British, Swiss and Swedish studies with similar findings.
The British study found that, post-exercise, participants returned to work more forgiving of themselves and their colleagues. There was also improved time management and mental sharpness. The Swiss study reported reduced absenteeism.
Given the link between performance and earnings, career progression and pay rises suddenly become a more tangible prospect as well.
Perhaps its time to "get on your bike!"