Research shows sweating as a team lowers stress and boosts morale.
Now this is team-building exercise.
Research has shown that the couples who sweat together, stick together – and the same rule can apply to colleagues. Regular exercise improves individual health by maintaining a healthy weight, decreasing stress and encouraging better sleep, which have all been shown to increase productivity and workplace satisfaction. And these benefits can get even more pumped up when employees get fit as a group.
Here’s five reasons to work out with your coworkers.
It lowers stress. A lot. A new American Osteopathic Association study finds that exercising with people you know reduces stress by 26% and “significantly improves quality of life,” with those training as a team showing improved mental (12.6%), physical (24.8%) and emotional (26%) health. Those going it alone did not see their stress levels or quality of life change nearly much. “The communal benefits of coming together with friends and colleagues, and doing something difficult while encouraging one another, pays dividends beyond exercising alone,” wrote Dayna Yorks, lead researcher on this study.
You’re nicer to each other. In an earlier study, 200 British employees (at a university, a computer company and a life insurance firm) were encouraged to exercise at work, including yoga and aerobics classes, strength training and pickup basketball games during lunch. They returned to their desks in the afternoon feeling less fatigued, more productive – and more patient and tolerant toward their coworkers.
Peers keep you accountable. You’re more likely to stick with an exercise regimen if you’ve got a group behind you. One study found 95% of those who started a weight loss program with pals stuck with it, versus 76% of those who embarked by themselves. Those getting fit as a team were also a whopping 42% more likely to maintain their weight. You’re less likely to blow off that workout when you’ve got to face your crew around the water cooler the next day.
You’ll have more fun. People who worked out with their coworkers, friends or partners told University of Southern California researchers that they enjoyed the exercise more than those who hustled on their own. Another study found people spinning on sedentary bikes for half an hour with peers were calmer after the workout than those who pedaled on their own. Plus, working out toward a common goal gets you to encourage each other to perform at your best.
You get a better exercise high. Rowers in an Oxford University study felt a greater endorphin rush when they trained in sync with their teammates versus the rowers who practiced the same regimen alone. Synchronized group activities like dancing, laughing and performing music together create a similar shared sense of euphoria – so learning Zumba with your work buds elevates your exercise high. And this added endorphin rush raises your pain threshold, meaning you can push through your workout longer with friends and coworkers than you can alone. Talk about strength in numbers.
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