A new study shows that taking a 15 minutes walk every day after lunchtime can make you feel more focused at work and feel less ridiculously tired at the end of it.
In this intervention study, based on the effort-recovery model and the conservation of resources theory, researchers examined how to enhance recovery during lunch breaks. More specifically, researchers examined the within-person effects of lunchtime park walks and relaxation exercises on employees’ levels of concentration, strain and fatigue experienced at the end of a working day.
Researchers surveyed 100 people who work in a variety of fields about their lunch time habits and then they made them change their lunchtime habits for ten days in a row to see the effects.
Half of them took a leisurely walk at a nearby park, while the others did a series of relaxation exercises at a quiet corner inside their office buildings. Both activities took 15 minutes and people did them after a quick lunch.
Before and after the experiment, the participants rated their levels of wellbeing, how much they enjoyed their lunch breaks and their productivity levels. People in both groups said they could concentrate better after the activity, had less strain and reported higher wellbeing after they walked or relaxed.
“These types of activities might have potential in maintaining productivity throughout the working day,” said lead author Marjaana Sianoja, a psychology researcher at the University of Tampere, meaning that you will have better efficiency throughout your day.
The researchers say the benefits were still evident into the late afternoon, meaning people left work with more energy which is obviously beneficial for people’s personal lives.
The study was published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.