Walk During Your Lunch Hour to Reduce Stress

Camila Souza

It's Monday and you're finding it hard to focus. You're stressed or just feel the lack of enthusiasm. Why not go for a walk during your lunch hour? A new study has found that taking a walk can help raise your mood and reduce stress. When you're not stressed and less moody, you're more productive.

For this study, researchers at the University of Birmingham first recruited sedentary office workers from the University and asked them to walk for 30 minutes during their usual lunch hour three times a week. The results showed that people who walked reported significantly different results from those who didn’t.  They were asked to share how they felt after the walk, and they reported feeling more enthusiastic, less tense, and generally more relaxed and better able to deal with whatever the afternoon would bring.

“There is now quite strong research evidence that feeling more positive and enthusiastic at work is very important to productivity,” explained Dr. Thogersen-Ntoumani. “So we would expect that people who walked at lunchtime would be more productive.”

This study did focus on sedentary people, but even you are pretty active, a break for clarity can help you make better decisions throughout the day.

Instead of eating in front of your computer, or even have a lunch meeting, why not take a quick stroll around your neighborhood. Being in daylight helps keep your circadian rhythms appropriately aligned with the place that we live. A walk in a park with lots of grassy areas, and even looking at nature, helps people who are cognitively exhausted, get their energy back.

So put it in your calendar for the rest of the week.

 

 

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Camila has been heavily active in South Florida’s tech startup community, where she is a co-host of a local radio show called pFunkcast. Camila previously worked at Greenpeace International and the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in various communication roles. A proud Brazilian who spent most of he life in Peru, she is passionate about traveling and documentaries.