Workout for a Better Work-Life Balance

Workout for a Better Work-Life BalanceNo one seems to doubt the fact that exercise is really good for us, but there's yet another reason to consider starting a workout regimen if you have yet to do so. New research shows that people who exercise regularly feel they have a better balance between their work and home lives. According to Russell Clayton, assistant professor of management at Saint Leo University and lead author on the paper that publicized the research, "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."

What Upsets the Work-Life Balance?

It works two ways: work-related stress can adversely affect your relationships with family members and your home habits and routines, while family- and home-related stress can impair your performance on the job. Seem strange that adding yet another obligatory element to your day-a workout-would actually improve the balance between your work and home lives? It's counterintuitive, but the study showed that it actually works.

Why Exercise Works:

Exercise improves work-life balance by pulling us both physically and mentally away from both work and home. Think of it as a neutral zone in which you can unwind and focus on an activity that will improve your body and mood. Exercise helps you to feel better about yourself and, consequently, better able to manage stress at work or at home, as well as to be wholly present in one environment or the other.

The Findings:

Researchers conducted the study by surveying 476 working adults about their exercise habits as well as their confidence in handling work-life conflicts. The surveys showed that those who exercised felt most able to easily manage their work and home lives. So if you're feeling frazzled, pulled in two (or more!) different directions every day, and are certain you couldn't possibly have an hour to spare between tending to your work obligations and your family, consider adding just one more element to your schedule: exercise. It may just be the magic element that brings you the balance you crave.

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