Are you sleepwalking through your job? Do you run out of steam halfway through the afternoon? Do you rely on coffee, sugar or both to provide you with the energy to see you through to the finish line? If yes, you are not alone as this is the default approach by many, one that is easy to execute, but one that may well lead to challenges in the long run.
There is another way to boost your energy that does not have the disruptive effect of spiking your energy only for it to crash again.
Want to know the trick? It’s motion.
You don’t even have to go to the gym to reap the benefits – brief movements or exercises throughout the day provide a very powerful energy source. Movement stimulates the flow of blood throughout the body, and in particular to the brain which enters a period of hyperoxygenation (Forbes, 2012). Oxygen is a life source for all the cells in the body, and the brain especially requires oxygen to provide it with energy. Put simply exercise allows the brain to work effectively and will help increase our cognitive capacity and aptitude.
So let’s look at some evidence. Sport scientist Jack Groppel’s program, Organisations in MOTION, ran for 3 months at the shoe company New Balance and encouraged around 750 employees to integrate some sort of physical activity into their work schedule every 30 minutes. At the end of the 3 months, 239 employees completed a post-program survey where 53% reported an increase in their level of physical activity at work, and 42% reported improved concentration and engagement. The boost in energy resulting from regular movement nurtured an increase in focus, attentiveness and efficiency.
Tempted to try? Here are some quick and easy tips:
- Get up and talk to a colleague in person as opposed to sending them an email
- Walk to a bathroom that’s further away
- Have ‘walking meetings’
- Stand up and stretch
- Take the stairs
Incorporating frequent ‘motion’ into your workday has been shown to improve both individual and organisational performance.
Get moving to start improving!