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How Exercise Improves Productivity at Work

Maintaining good physical health will, of course, improve your overall health. But, staying active during the day can also increase productivity and make you a more efficient worker. If you find yourself feeling tired or overwhelmed at work, getting into an exercise routine might be able to help you! 

A paper published in the academic journal, Frontiers in Psychology, found that exercise has clear benefits towards cognitive function and, as a result, increases productivity rates.  

Many modern corporate environments have begun to promote exercise, both on and off site. Employer might offer free or discounted gym memberships to employees or, in some cases, may even build gyms in the office where employees can work during office hours. 

Exercise doesn’t just benefit employees – it benefits the employer, too. The more awake and energized you feel, the better you’ll perform at work. The better you perform at work, the greater your return on investment for the employer! Increased productivity might even lead to promotions and a general improvement of your mood. It could be the start of a really fruitful cycle! 

More and more employers are beginning to recognize the importance of exercise and its positive effects on brainpower.  

So, let’s take a more in-depth look at how exercise can benefit your productivity rates! 

A few minutes of exercise during the day can help you be more productive!

Does exercise really make you more productive?

A recent study by Leeds Metropolitan University found that after going to the gym during work, employees returned more driven and productive than before. Researchers also found that exercise during the workday can improve office workers’ ‘mood and self-reported performance’. There was a clear benefit to exercising at work, not only to employee wellbeing but to competitive advantage and motivation. 

Remember, fifteen minutes exercise is better than nothing! Just because you don’t have the time to do a full hour workout, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother at all! Getting the heart pumping might be all you need to give you that head-start during the working day. 


It might sound strange to say that exercise helps reduce stress because some exercises can be vigorous and tiresome. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins that help you rest and relax. So, if your work life is feeling tense, some exercise might do the trick.  

Think of a stress ball – the more you squeeze and tense your muscles, the more relaxed you become! Exercise is no different. By getting your body moving and your blood pumping, you can purge yourself of all the built-up stress. Some of us like working out ahead of the day, whilst others like to get in the gym after work and let all their frustrations go! 

Whether it’s cardio or weight-lifting, get the blood pumping!

Mental Health

When you feel overwhelmed or stressed with work, your mood and mental health can be greatly affected. It’s easy to let work get on top of you – missed a deadline or just got one too many things on your mind? Exercise helps with symptoms of depression because the release of endorphins can help lift your mood. Moving your body promotes changes in your brain that create feelings of well-being. 

When your brain releases endorphins during exercise, they act as your body’s natural pain reliever. These chemicals are responsible for the happiness boost you feel after exercise.  

By incorporating exercise into your work schedule, you can help tackle those overwhelming feelings and boost your mood! 

Exercise, like yoga, can help improve mindfulness.

Increased Energy

Exercise can also help you combat tiredness or fatigue by increasing energy levels. Whilst it’ll certainly be difficult at first, the more you exercise, the more your energy levels will gradually increase. Working out allows you to build muscle strength and endurance over time, making you physically more resilient. By improving your body’s resilience, you’ll inevitably have a more positive outlook on life, too! 

The increased energy from exercising can also help improve your mental alertness. This can help keep you aware and focused on your tasks throughout the day. The more energy you have, the better your performance!


As anybody who works in an office knows, concentration can sometimes be hard to come by – that’s just another benefit of exercise! Work can sometimes feel as though it is moving very slowly, causing us to lose focus as the day goes on. Exercise improves our ability to get through busy workdays whilst maintaining focus and improving the quality of our work. 

Exercise can also help sufferers of illnesses that affect concentration. It has even been shown to improve symptoms of ADHD. Exercise works similarly to ADHD medications such as Ritalin because it releases chemicals that improve focus and attention.  

Improved concentration will increase your productivity rates!

Memory and Learning

Exercise doesn’t just improve the size of your body – it also improves the size of your brain! A study at the University of British Columbia found that forms of aerobic exercise were shown to increase the size of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is an area of the brain integral to improving memory learning and retention! 

You might not have thought it, but exercise can have a positive effect on your capability to learn as well as your mood! By exercising, you not only allow your mind to let go of stress, but also free it up to soak in other information! 

Our Conclusion

Exercise has many physical benefits that most of us are well aware of. But, as you might not have known, exercise also has countless benefits for the mind, too! It has been proven to be an effective method for improving productivity, raising concentration and even increasing memory retention! Whether you’re an employer, or an employee, gently encouraging exercise amongst your colleagues – whether in group activities or otherwise – could really revitalize your workforce! 

Sticking to an exercise routine, on the other hand, can be difficult! If you need help sticking to your goals and targets, take a look at our other articles for some advice. If you would like to learn more about how Ceed can improve your productivity, you can contact us today. 

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