How exercise boosts our attitude to work

Productivity at work can be increased by carrying out regular exercise, a new study by researchers in Sweden has concluded. The work, carried out by teams at Stockholm University and Karolinska Institutet, found production levels do not suffer if a portion of work time is used for exercise purposes.

Stockholm University is one of Sweden's largest higher education centres with over 50,000 undergraduate and master's students and specialises in researching natural and social sciences.

The investigation by the research teams indicated activity means production levels do not suffer in spite of work time being reduced and Ulrica von Thiele Schwarz and Henna Hasson, research leaders, said stamina built up during the workout boosts workrates.

Productivity is also aided by "less absenteeism owing to sickness", the pair remarked.

The study showed staff who dedicated 2.5 hours of their 40-hour working week felt they got more done in the workplace and were less likely to fall ill.

Dr Barry Cripps, Chartered Psychologist and Fellow of the British Psychological Society, commented: "This research confirms earlier studies in sport and exercise psychology that exercise under certain conditions can improve cognitive functioning.

"One of the difficulties in extrapolating this research to the workplace is exactly measuring productivity. Researchers have always found it very difficult to measure productivity accurately."