Walking Boosts Productivity, So Get Outta Here

August 7, 2019 | 418 views

Walking Boosts Productivity, So Get Outta Here
Walking Boosts Productivity, So Get Outta Here

If you are like most people, you probably feel that nagging, mid-afternoon slump at work when you just can’t get much done. It’s worse if you need to start a new project and can’t begin to create ideas of how to get going. Maybe you reach for an iced coffee or a snack to get you going, but there is a more productive solution: go for a walk.

We all know that exercise has physical benefits, and walking might help avoid overindulging in candy and caffeine, but there are more than physical benefits—a short 15-minute stroll can stimulate your brain and jumpstart ideas for your next great accomplishment too.

Get Those Juices Flowing

The creative ones, that is. The brain responds to exercise by allowing free-flowing thoughts and broader ideas. Walking increases creativity up to 81% according to Stanford University research. When compared to sitting, the changes were dramatic, especially if you go outdoors.

We often think we must focus to get jobs completed, reports finished, conclusions drawn. Focus is very important, too, but more suited for single-purpose activities. When we want to congeal myriad data or extrapolate meaning or dream up alternative solutions, focus is not necessarily our friend. Instead, being in an unfocused state while walking allows our brain to work on a subconscious level to discover fresh ideas.

When the walk is over, inventiveness levels remain higher for hours too. So, get outside and go with the creative flow.

Improve Your Mood

Mood isn’t always related to work productivity, but if we feel happier about life and our work, we will do better quality work. When we are happier, we are usually more alert and confident, and we make better connections with people around us—all ingredients for producing better results.

In addition, research shows that stress is reduced and motivation is increased when we walk. Even if there is no large project looming over us at work, we can mitigate stress while walking, and we might come up with more ideas for the next, great business idea. The enthusiasm alone will bring on higher energy levels for accomplishing more.

Forward Focus

Concentrating on focused tasks exhausts the brain. Anyone who has crammed for an exam realizes when the effort has hit its limit and the focus is waning. After a while, the brain becomes desensitized to the same task. Walking is the antidote to this dilemma. By taking a short break and putting one foot in front of the other, the brain can refocus after the break and be more productive.

Take that walk during lunch to sharpen your thinking and improve the brain’s ability to concentrate. The benefits last well after the exercise is over, so the whole day produces better results.

So, rather than a coffee break, go outside and sharpen your brain power with a stroll. Your improved creativity, mood, and focus will reward you with increased productivity and maybe, just maybe, a new breakthrough idea that boosts your career too.

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007, and 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018.   

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