Is boxing or yoga better for your job woes?

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Exercise as stress reliefRecently, the staff here was challenged to take part in a fitness competition to encourage health and wellness among employees. It didn’t take long for people to choose teams and begin strategizing so they could claim the sweet reward of a body to rival those soccer players gracing this month’s cover of Vanity Fair —and a nice prize goes to the winning team.

It’s no secret that exercising is good for you. Whether your goal is to don that bikini or Speedo in public or improve your cholesterol levels, there are endless benefits of working out. But what if it could help your career? When you have the time or energy to do it, working out can ease stress, improve productivity and help workers feel motivated — all things that can make you happier at work and possibly a better employee. And employers know this.

Consider the wellness programs that are popping up at companies all over the country. In a June 2009 report from The Society for Human Resource Management, 59 percent of HR professionals reported their organizations offered wellness programs to employees and 72 percent indicated their organizations provided wellness resources and information to employees.

But how can it really help you? CBS MoneyWatch recently reported on that very topic:

Researchers at the University of Bristol in England had people rate their job performance and mood on workdays when they exercised and on workdays when they didn’t. The results will make any efficiency expert raise an eyebrow. On the days they worked out:

  • 72 percent of participants reported managing their time better.
  • 79 percent said their mental and interpersonal performance improved.
  • 74 percent reported managing their workload better.

If that’s not a prescription for getting a raise and being promoted, we don’t know what is. A smaller but significant share of exercisers reported other benefits as well: improved dealing with stress (26 percent), feeling motivated to work (33 percent), concentrating on work (26 percent), working without unscheduled breaks (28 percent) and finishing work on time (27 percent).

Not only did the article report on the study’s findings, it also came up with some workouts that can help ease the pain of many who are working or job searching in today’s economy. From boxing to yoga to swimming, click here to find out what sweat session might be best for working out the kinks in your career.

Tell us, how do you relieve your job search or workplace stress?

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