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Burnout: Why Exercise Is Your Best Support

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Professional exhaustion syndrome (or burnout), this illness which manifests itself in extreme weariness, perpetual questioning of one's work and a nagging feeling of inadequacy, affects a growing number of employees in our contemporary society. Different scientific sectors have already invested heavily in this syndrome to better understand and prevent it: psychology, sociology or medicine for example.

Recent work carried out by the University of Michigan and published in April in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine have looked into this theme. This research, orchestrated under the direction of Weiyun Chen, associate professor of applied exercise science, offers a solution that is as simple as it is effective for reducing the chances of developing burnout: sport. Researchers have looked into the beneficial effects of regular exercise on this syndrome, revealing results that are encouraging to say the least.

The impact of physical activity on emotional exhaustion

The survey examined the habits of 520 employees full-time, a fairly small sample. The researchers split the latter into three distinct categories according to the intensity of their sporting practice: low (23% of the sample), moderate ( 60% and high (25%).

Findings reveal that employees who engaged in moderate physical activity exhibit increased resilience in the face of emotional exhaustion, compared to those with a more sedentary lifestyle. The lead author of the study, Brandon Albedry, elucidates this phenomenon: “ Employees disinclined to exercise tend to experience progressive disengagement, a subtle erosion of their motivation, without taking the step of formal resignation. This insidious detachment invariably results in flagging productivity and fading professional enthusiasm “.

Personal satisfaction and accomplishment at work

The results of this in-depth study highlight another observation: individuals ;participating in moderate or sustained physical activity experience a feeling of personal accomplishment that is significantly more pronounced than their counterparts less inclined to physical exercise .

Nevertheless, it is worth emphasizing that intensive sports practice does not provide additional benefits compared to moderate activity. Michele Marenus, a former doctoral student of Chen, clarifies this point: “ It’is in no way necessary to commit to sessions of&# 8217;excessive training to feel the benefits. In reality, imposing such a constraint could prove counterproductive and lead to deleterious effects ”. In truth, “ feeling obligated to do so can actually have a negative impact ”.

The researchers therefore concluded that moderate physical activity is more sustainable and less likely to cause injury, an aspect essential for maintaining a regular exercise routine that is beneficial for mental health.

Practical solutions for employers

These discoveries could be an opportunity for employers to value and encourage the practice of physical activities within the professional environment that they offer to their employees. We can imagine the establishment of walking desk (desk equipped with an integrated walking mat, allowing users to work while walking slowly to stay physically active), the creation of sports spaces in situ, the granting of subsidies for access to training rooms sport or even the introduction of more flexible schedules.

All these initiatives can contribute to the&#8217 ;fulfillment and overall well-being of employees or collaborators. The study also highlights that moderate-intensity activities, such as brisk walking or cycling, prove sufficient to alleviate the symptoms of burnout. Two sports thus offering a long-lasting and low-risk solution in terms of potential injuries.

If you are a boss, think, if possible, about what you could implement within your company. If you are an employee, you can definitely try to set up a little sports routine during your lunch break. Even if it's only a quarter of an hour, it's still better than nothing and your brain will ultimately thank you.

  • A study has proven that physical exercise reduces emotional exhaustion and increases feelings of accomplishment at work.
  • However, Intensive physical activity does not particularly bring additional benefits compared to more moderate activity.
  • Results which prove that employers should promote physical activity# 8217;exercise at work to take care of the mental health of their employees.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116