Short walks during the workday are mentally refreshing and help me focus on my work. I try to pencil one into my calendar whenever I can, so much so that my healthy habit is known among my colleagues. I often can get a colleague or two to join me on a walk, which is good for relationship-building and stress relief.
Today I came across an article reporting on research on exercise and its impact on well-being. A key finding is that the first 20 minutes of exercise can have a great impact on both happiness and productivity. These are both key ingredients to a successful day at work.
“The first 20 minutes of moving around, if someone has been really sedentary, provide most of the health benefits. You get prolonged life, reduced disease risk — all of those things come in in the first 20 minutes of being active.”
– New York Times best-selling author Gretchen Reynolds, The First 20 Minutes
The article depicted the immediate impact of getting away from one’s desk for an activity break. The below scans of brain activity (represented by an increase in colours) were reported before and after a 20-minute walk:
Do you take walks while you’re working? If not, has this research encouraged you to start?
Image credits: Pixabay.com; Fastcompany.com.