Exercise at work boosts output

London: Devoting time to physical activity at the workplace seems to lead to higher productivity.

A study shows that it is possible to use work time for exercise or other health-promoting measures and still attain the same or even higher production levels.

The same production levels with fewer work hours means higher productivity, besides benefiting individuals healthwise as a result of physical activity, the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine reports.

"This increased productivity comes, on the one hand, from people getting more done during the hours they are at work, and, on the other hand, from less absenteeism owing to sickness," said Ulrica von Thiele Schwarz and Henna Hasson from Stockholm University and Karolinska Institute respectively who led the study.

Two workplaces in dental care were asked to devote 2.5 hours per week to physical activity, distributed across two sessions, according to a Karolinska Institute statement.

Another group had the same decrease in work hours but without obligatory exercise, and a third group maintained their usual work hours, 40 a week.

Those who exercised also reported improvements in self-assessed productivity -- they perceived that they got more done at work, had a greater work capacity and were sick less often.


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