Exercise has been shown to protect against chronic diseases, improve moods, and enhance memory. Despite not needing additional reasons to promote physical activity, employers can now add more socializing and higher goal attainment to the list. According to a study in Personality and Individual Differences, exercise augments the frequency and importance of same-day positive events and predicts increased frequency and value of next-day positive social events.
For the study, the research team from George Mason University recruited 179 college students and asked them to record their exercise, whether they had positive social interactions, and whether they achieved something they wanted to get done for 21 days. The results showed that students who exercised also tended to participate in more social and achievement activities than on days when they didn’t exercise and engaged in activities that tended to matter to them more. Also, the study found that exercise on one day predicted positive social activity on the next day but did not predict achievement activities. The lead researcher, Kevin Young, is looking to expand the study further validate the findings and impact of the results.
If similar results are found in working populations, employers will have one more reason to facilitate and promote physical activity within their workforce. The positive social interactions will also create a healthier work environment and likely result in lower employee turnover. Higher goal attainment will also be a nice little perk as it will contribute to productivity gains. Since physical activity initiatives are ubiquitous in employee wellness programs, employers currently implementing well-being solutions should make sure that their strategy is delivering upon their goals and objectives. This includes creating ways to verify activities are being completed, which can be done on a budget through free mobile apps, as well as investing in three elements of employee wellness experiences: technological, cultural, and physical.
Below is an infographic that lists 17 additional ways exercising can help employees become healthier people: