There is so much more to managing stress at work than simply avoiding obnoxious coworkers and only checking email twice a day. As it turns out, how you manage your life outside of work is just as important for eliminating stress on the job. This is especially true when it comes to fitting exercise into your routine. According to a study done by Russell Clayton, a management professor at St. Leo University, individuals who exercised regularly are better able to manage work and home life stress responses. Researchers measured this using the following survey methods:

Researchers examined responses of 476 working adults to survey questions. Respondents were asked on a four-point scale (1 never — 4 always) questions about exercise behavior. For example, ‘I exercise more than three days a week.’ Respondents were then asked a number of questions on a 7-point scale (strongly disagree — strongly agree) about their confidence in handling work-family conflicts.

While it can seem that adding another responsibility to our day may increase stress, the opposite appears to be true.

Exercise is one factor that helps people better handle stress in the workplace, leading to a better work life balance.

It is also recommended that employers help their teams with wellness programs. Encouraging workers to exercise and providing them with tools to make it easier improves their overall health and their ability to contribute to their jobs. Work with your company to start a wellness campaign in the office to promote exercise, healthy eating, and stress management.

There are also a few easy ways to add exercise to your daily routine:

  • Walk your dog or play with your kids outside
  • Plant a garden
  • Thoroughly clean your house
  • Walk with coworkers during your lunch hour
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator

Adding exercise into your daily routine in easy-to-manage ways can help you stay focused when you’re on the job and feel better overall. It can also be a great way to spend time together with your family, thus creating a better work life balance.

How can you add more exercise into your day?

Image by USAG-Humphreys via Flickr

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