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Home » News

Research shows working out may benefit work life

Article / Review by on February 24, 2012 – 8:47 pmNo Comments

Research shows working out may benefit work life

Research shows working out may benefit work life

There’s more evidence today that regular exercise can offer benefits beyond an improved physique. Findings recently published in theJournal of Applied Psychology suggest that employees who engage in physical activity are less likely to experience deterioration in their mental health, including symptoms of burnout and depression.

In the study (subscription required), Israeli researchers evaluated the personal, occupational and psychological states of more than 1,600 healthy workers employed in both the private and public sectors. Volunteers completed questionnaires when visiting medical clinics for routine check-ups and had three follow-up appointments over a period of nine years. Based on their responses, participants were divided into four groups: no engagement in physical activity and three levels of exercise (75 to 150 minutes a week, 150 to 240 minutes a week and more than 240 minutes a week). PsychCentral reports:

Depression and burnout rates were clearly the highest among the group that did not participate in any physical activity, [said Tel Aviv University researcher Sharon Toker, PhD]

The more physical activity that participants engaged in, the less likely they were to experience depression and burnout during the next three years. The optimal amount of physical activity was a minimum of 150 minutes per week, where its benefits really started to take effect.

In those who engaged in 240 minutes of physical activity or more, the impact of burnout and depression was almost nonexistent, she said, adding that even 150 minutes a week will have a positive impact, helping people to deal with their workday, improve self-esteem, and stave off the spiral of loss.

 

By Lia Steakley
Stanford University Medical Center

Photo by Juan Pablo Olmo

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* Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions – Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

**  The above story is adapted from materials provided by Stanford University School of Medicine

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