Exercise relieves workplace stress


If your boss is giving you a hard time, tell him to take a hike. Or maybe just a walk around the block. A new study by James Burton from Northern Illinois University has found that a bit of exercise can reduce workplace aggression.

The research showed that stressed supervisors under time constraints will vent their frustrations on their employees less often when they participate in regular exercise. The study is particularly relevant today when so many managers are under pressure to make more money using fewer resources. An entire staff can bear the angst of a single manager. One way to reduce workplace stress is to get supervisors into a regular fitness program. This is the first study to examine how exercise can buffer the relationship between supervisor stress and employee abuse and hostile workplace.

Ninety-eight MBA students and their 98 supervisors completed questionnaires. Students rated their perception of supervisor abuse. Supervisors answered questions about their exercise routines and their workplace stress. As expected, researchers found that stressed supervisors were creating hostile workplaces. The analysis also showed that supervisors who exercised regularly were less likely to be guilty of being a bad boss. As little as one or two days of exercise made a huge difference in perceptions of abuse.

“It appears that the simple act of exercising minimizes the negative effects of supervisor workplace stress on subordinates. Wellness programs, often inclusive of exercise components, have been advocated to control workplace stress for years. This study adds support to their specific relevancy in smoothing supervisor-subordinate relationships,” said the authors of the report.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, Journal of Business and Psychology

photo by John Nyboer


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