Large companies across the nation conduct annual surveys that aim to gauge employee engagement, satisfaction, and the general attitude toward the company. According to recent research, one factor of the overall work experience that is generally rated quite low today is that of work-life balance. Work-life balance refers to an employee’s ability to ideally prioritize between work activities – including their overall career and ambitions, and their lifestyle, which includes family time, health and wellness issues, and spiritual endeavors. Today’s interconnected world may be partially to blame for employee dissatisfaction with work-life balance. After all, how easy is it to check your work email from the road, at the dinner table, or practically anywhere? But one activity that has been proven to help improve work-life balance is consistent, scheduled exercise.
But how is it that exercise can improve an employee’s feelings about their already impacted work schedules? There are several factors that come into play, but the main one is quite simple. Exercising is a way to detach from work – not just physically, but also psychologically. You are obviously not there at the office, but it is also difficult to think about work or interact with work emails or other communications while you’re actively exercising. This helps provide some needed distance between the frenzy of the office and your outside life. It is no wonder that employers have begun to encourage their employees to exercise more regularly – not just for the general health benefits, but also because it serves to improve the perception (or reality) of work-life balance.
Another way that exercising can help improve work-life balance is by eliminating an additional activity that must take place during “personal time.” Imagine that you will have completed your empowering workout during the workday – as permitted by some employers, instead of having to fit it in on your way home. This can also eliminate early-morning trips to the gym when all you can think about is that first cup of coffee.
Lastly, contemporary research has shown that those who exercise regularly tend to be able to more confidently handle general conflicts both at work and in their personal lives. These exercisers also suffered from less stress at work, which improves the overall ability to strike a balance between work time and personal time.
Beyond the obvious health benefits of regular exercise, the improvement to work-life balance could stand as reason enough to find a way to run, walk, lift weights, or do yoga during the day. If you are looking for a way to integrate regular exercise to your daily routine, running is one of the best ways to do so. Simply bring a change of clothes, socks, and your running shoes, and you will be able to complete an invigorating run during the lunch hour or extended break. The health benefits are real, and the stress reduction alone can help make your day more productive, pleasant, and balanced. More and more employers these days are waking up to the benefits of consistent exercise among employees, so make sure that you take advantage of any policies at your workplace that enable you to clock in consistent exercise throughout the week.