We’ve all heard eating well coupled with daily exercise leads to a healthier body and smaller waistlines. But what about the effects of healthy living on workplace efficiency? Research shows there’s a correlation – and it shouldn’t surprise you.
Researchers at Brigham Young University, the Center for Health Research at Healthways and the Health Enhancement Research Organization conducted a 2012 study on this phenomenon.
- Eating unhealthy is linked with a 66% increased risk in productivity loss”
- Little exercise is linked with a 50% increased risk of low productivity”
The study also found sleep deprivation and smoking to be major factors in work efficiency. Of course, we know this, but the research demonstrates how a sedentary lifestyle is not only physically harmful, it’s corporately detrimental. So what to do? If you think you could improve, try these actions:
- GET THE MINDSET DOWN
What would you rather do? Eat that donut and feel miserable the rest of your day or go for a nice run in the morning, followed by a well-balanced breakfast? Before you actually DO the exercising and eating well, you have to THINK the right way. So, practice right now. Don’t look at your workout as a chore, but embrace it. Have a busy schedule tomorrow? Think, “How can I fit in my workout?” Time really isn’t an excuse, although it’s used often. At the very least, you can always do a quick body-weight workout. No gym or weights required!
- DO YOUR RESEARCH – AND WRITE IT DOWN
Once you’ve put yourself in the proper mindset, you’re ready to prepare your healthy lifestyle. Utilize the various resources on the internet to game plan. Websites such as bodybuilding.com and mensfitness.com are great resources to find a workout plan that fits you. Pick exercises that you like, and put them on a spreadsheet. This is especially important. Without WRITING them down, you’ll have a harder time following through with your plan.
As for your eating plan, do something similar, although don’t feel like you have to follow it as strictly as the workout plan. There are a multitude of healthy food options out there, so writing down just a few wouldn’t make sense. Start by stressing vegetables and lean meats such as chicken and turkey. Cut out the sugar and white breads, and you have laid a great foundation.
- INVITE OTHERS TO JOIN YOU
So, you don’t want to go at it alone? Not a problem – talk to your friends, co-workers, spouse, virtually anyone, and try creating a plan together. Research shows having a workout partner increases satisfaction and happiness. As humans, we are social creatures, and we like the social interaction that can come from working out. Just remember that you’re going to exercise, not happy hour!
- TOSS THE SCALE
The last thing you need is to constantly monitor your weight. Realize that depending on your workout regimen, you may actually GAIN muscle, and thus GAIN weight. Some people don’t realize this and become discouraged, even though in reality they are doing just fine.