This is the exact exercise you must do if you want to be happier with your job

Stressed at work? A new study suggests you try cycling.

Shutterstock

There will never be too many ways to cope with the incessant overly reported work-related stressors. Over a lifetime, the average American will spend a collective 13 years and two months at work. That’s 13 years of pressing deadlines, staffing off fierce competition, and physical demands.

Thankfully researchers are perpetually trying to figure out ways to keep us from Howard Hughes-ing ourselves into early retirement. The latest attempt comes from The Journal Of Leadership and Management.


Follow Ladders on Flipboard!

Follow Ladders’ magazines on Flipboard covering Happiness, Productivity, Job Satisfaction, Neuroscience, and more!


Breaking the cycle

The findings within the new study champion high-intensity workouts as a reliable means of both decreasing overall stress and boosting levels of job satisfaction. The more intense the workout, the greater the stress reduction. The study’s lead author, Christopher Neck, Ph.D., an associate professor at Arizona State University, Tempe, summarized to Bicycling.com,  “What the findings show is that as exercise intensity goes up, it has a significant relationship on lowering stress and increasing job satisfaction,”

Ladders recently covered a report indexing the severely underreported depression statistics amongst entrepreneurs. A staggering two-thirds of business owners experience depression at least once a week. Twenty-five percent of respondents in this very same study reported exercising more frequently in order to cope with their work stress.  

Being responsible for your own revenue stream comes with distinct and often extremely taxing challenges. The researchers behind the study published in The Journal of Leadership and Management were well aware of the anxiety infecting these members of the economy.  The authors make a point to note the unique psychological obstacles facing business owners, including the worry that they are unable to meet demands and expectations, the fear that they’ve basically bit off far more than they can chew, and are only realizing it after committing to their respective venture.

The researchers began the study by taking seven common types of workout routines into account: Weight training, competitive sports, aerobics, running, cycling, walking, and yoga. They then surveyed 470 entrepreneurs about which kinds of exercise regimens they adhered to the most often and for how long, before generating an exercise intensity metric based on guidelines from the CDC. By multiplying the reported intensity of each activity and the length each was performed they found that business owners that reported the highest figures dually experienced the least stress. Can’t think of a better way to break a sweat, increase muscle strength and flexibility, and reduce stress than cycling- the activity that offered the most significant benefits in the study period. 

Reductions in stress also offered a 19% boost to job satisfaction.  “Frequent, long, challenging exercise is worth it for entrepreneurs, even with their busy schedules. Time working out is time away from the business but it’s a healthy trade-off.  It’s not going to hurt your business and it’s going to be good for you,” added Neck.

CW Headley|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at cheadley@theladders.com.