Some supervisors may be hesitant to encourage staff members to take a walk or hit the gym in the middle of the day out of fear that workers will be wasting valuable production time toning their abs.
However, researchers at Stockholm University and Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered that employees can take a daily 30-minute exercise break without sacrificing their productivity.
“This increased productivity comes, on the one hand, from people getting more done during the hours they are at work, perhaps because of increased stamina and, on the other hand, from less absenteeism owing to sickness,” said study authors Ulrica von Thiele Schwarz and Henna Hasson.
Additionally, volunteers reported a perceived increase in their ability to work as well as the quality of their physical health in a post-trial assessment.
Since daily exercise has been shown to be an effective anxiety-reliever, it’s possible that the strategy may also help reduce workplace stress. Combining exercise breaks with an employee wellness program that provides tools and resources for stress management and healthy living may be a powerful way to strengthen employee performance.