Working out in the office doesn’t lower productivity

Research we're watching


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Some women squeeze in exercise by using active workstations, which enable them to move more during the workday. But you may wonder: will this type of multitasking make you less productive on the job?

A study in the May issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise says it doesn't appear to. The study authors tested the cognitive performance of 58 workers — 32 young and 26 middle-aged — who were asked to walk for 50 minutes at a time on an active workstation treadmill. The study authors concluded the walking didn't hinder the workers' ability to effectively complete mental tasks, aside from a slight dip in planning skills during the workout. And they were able to log an average of 4,500 more steps per day during their sessions.

The findings are good news if you are interested in sneaking in a little more exercise at the office. And research has shown that you should; less sitting is definitely better for your health. A 2015 study published in Annals of Internal Medicine found that on average, people spend more than half of their waking hours sitting down. Prolonged sitting raises your risk of chronic diseases — including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer — as well as premature death. So, this gives you one more reason to get up and move during your workday.