Labor Day’s over, and Americans fortunate enough to have jobs are getting back to work. But all work and no play might make us, well, less productive. That’s the finding of a study that looked at the effects of an employee exercise program in which workers worked out during office hours.
Researchers evaluated employees at a large Swiss public dental health organization. Of the 177 participants, one group exercised two and a half hours during the work week; a second group had the same amount of hours off but didn’t exercise; and a control group worked straight through the week.
The participants were asked to measure their own productivity and sickness absenteeism after six months and then after 12 months. Those who exercised regularly said they felt more productive and were able to accomplish more during their time working. Perhaps more significantly, they said they lost less time to sick days than those in the other two groups. The study was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. [Ulrica von Thiele Schwarz and Henna Hasson, "Employee Self-rated Productivity and Objective Organizational Production Levels: Effects of Worksite Health Interventions Involving Reduced Work Hours and Physical Exercise"]
The researchers say the results suggest that, to increase productivity, employers take time out from work—if they spend it working out.
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]