Research published earlier this year, by University of New England (UNE) Pyschology Honours student, Rachel Bretland, has found that exercise is incredibly good for reducing burnout in the workplace and for one’s personal well-being. These are significant findings, as it has been estimated that workplace related stress makes up 30% of all sick leave and that burnout costs the global economy approximately $300 billion annually!
The study which involved inactive volunteers, aged between 19-68 years, exercising three times a week, compared cardiovascular with resistance exercise to assess their effectiveness on wellbeing, perceived stress and burnout. Ms Bretland found, “Cardiovascular exercise is particularly good at reducing negative forms of stress and reducing emotional exhaustion, whereas resistance training is more likely to leave you feeling more accomplished with your efforts and more valued.”
“Both types of exercise saw similar improvements to positive wellbeing and the great part was that I started to see significant changes after only two weeks,” she added.
“Probably what surprised me the most however, was that exercise did not contribute to participant’s sense of feeling tired. This is interesting because ‘I’m too tired to exercise’ is a common excuse people use to not workout.”
Supporting this finding is Simon Croft, a 53 year old, Senior Partner at Roberts and Morrow Accounting Firm. Simon works out five days a week, going to the gym and swimming at Sport UNE, bike riding and generally mixing up his routine.
“I can feel dog tired after a day’s work in the office, however if I make the effort to exercise, I feel normal again. It’s amazing how exercise can invigorate you,” he said.
Exercise also helps Mr Croft to keep injuries at bay. “I do manual work on our property on weekends and if I don’t keep fit I’ll injury myself, and I can’t afford to do that.” He believes, “Making exercise social is a great way to keep it enjoyable, and doing it with a mate means you motivate each other and have a few laughs along the way! I am also fortunate that Roberts and Morrow encourage their employees to keep fit and well, by offering a Health and Wellbeing Allowance to all their employees.”
Kathie Hunt, Centre Manager at Sport UNE encourages employers and managers to support staff exercise programs.
“There are very strong links between physical activity and mental health. Research shows that in comparison to their healthy co-workers, unhealthy workers can take up to nine times more sick leave and be three times less productive. Corporate health programs contribute to reducing corporate burnout and offer organisations positive returns for taking an active role in the health and well being of their employees.” she said.
PHOTO: Simon Croft, Senior Partner at Roberts and Morrow Accounting, believes it’s not natural to be sitting in a chair all day and tries his best to keep himself active for both his physical and mental well-being.