Exercise plays crucial role in work-life balance, study finds

Exercise can not only improve health outcomes and eliminate stress, but now researchers are saying it can help individuals manage their work-life balance.

A team from Saint Leo University surveyed 476 working adults about their exercise behavior, their confidence in handling conflict, and their ability to juggle work-life commitments.

"Individuals who exercised regularly were more confident they could handle the interaction of their work and home life and were less likely to be stressed at work," said Russell Clayton, assistant professor of management at Saint Leo University and lead author of the paper.

The researchers defined work-life conflict in two ways: when work interferes with family and when family interferes with work. The goal of the study was to determine if exercise could help resolve both types of conflict.

Just add exercise

While previous studies have shown that exercise can help reduce stress, researchers weren't sure if this stress reduction actually led to better management of the work-life balance.

In the current study, however, results showed that adding an exercise routine can empower individuals to cope better with pressures both at home and the office.

Clayton elaborated:

The idea sounds counterintuitive. How is it that adding something else to our work day helps to alleviate stress and empower us to deal with work-family issues? We think exercise is a way to psychologically detach from work -you're not there physically and you're not thinking about it either - and, furthermore, it can help us feel good about ourselves.

Employers can help employees to be more productive and less stressed by encouraging them to exercise, the study concluded.

The findings will be published in the journal Human Resource Management.

Source: Science Daily

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