Defeat work stress with 30 mins of regular exercise. A new study reveals!

More often than not workplace frustration is carried home and anger is vented on other family members. But according to the findings of a recent study, exercise can help restrict office stress to the workplace. In fact another study demonstrated that those employees who walk more than 10000 steps a day or burn more than 2000 calories daily are emotionally better equipped to deal with workplace stress and challenging work relations.

Exercises for Stress by Naas Physio

How does exercise help?

Stress causes elevation of adrenaline and cortisol in the body which is an important cause of increased muscle tension and anxiety. Regular exercise helps to regulate these hormones causing muscle relaxation and blood pressure regulation, ultimately contributing to enhanced workplace performance and greater contentment.

People who have difficult relationships at work tend to carry this with them when they leave te office. This formed the basis of a study co-authored by Shannon Taylor and Larissa Barber, published recently in the Journal of Applied Psychology. The study, aimed at understanding` the effect of exercise on this misplaced workplace tension, concluded that burning of over 550 calories (equivalent of a 90 minute walk) can stop one from taking workplace anger home.

The above research that was done on 100 graduates (and their partners) also found that any tension at work disrupted sleep causing more negativity. Exercise also helped the participants to sleep well. Good undisturbed sleep is vital for improved brain function.

Chronic stress affects mind and body. It can cause more permanent physical symptoms like headaches, body ache, fatigue, hypertension and gastritis. It can also cause brain atrophy, especially of the hippocampus (part of the brain responsible for memory). Exercise breaks this stress-physical symptoms-stress cycle by improving blood flow to the brain and reversing brain atrophy. Working out regularly also increases the levels of serotonin, BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) and dopamine – together they enhance cognition and decision making which in turn helps to combat stress.

Which exercise is the best?

Newer studies suggest that it is the frequency and not the type of exercise that matters. 30-40 minute resistance training done 3-4 times a week or a 20 minute cardio workout 3-5 times all work well to minimise stress. Throw in some meditation and watch the calming effects on your body.

Make sure you work out regularly

Job stress can cause havoc to work life balance and frankly there is no escaping it.

Larissa Barber, professor of psychology at Northern Illinois University admits it is difficult to squeeze time for exercise in a packed schedule, in fact the very thought can be stressful for some. But the multifaceted and long term benefits of regular exercise outweigh the short term inconvenience. – Set your alarm 30 mins earlier

Note: Always consult with your physician before embarking on an exercise program.

This blog is brought to you by Naas Physio Clinic.

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