Have you ever noticed that your entire day flows more smoothly when you fit in an early morning ride? For a recent study in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, researchers set out to build on findings that exercise before work increases employees’ self-efficacy and work focus.
They set out to see what impact morning workouts carry over to the rest of the work day, and their findings may help you conquer those tough Monday mornings (if you can avoid that snooze button and get up for an early workout).
Researchers hypothesized that “physical activity before work increases challenge appraisal and decreases both hindrance and threat appraisal, which, in turn, increases engagement at work and decreases emotional fatigue and job-related worry.”
A new reason to work out in the morning: it builds confidence to overcome obstacles.
On days when people exercise before work, they’re more engaged and less exhausted. They see tasks as challenges to conquer rather than threats to avoid.
Early wins boost energy and efficacy. pic.twitter.com/rZJBvo8V7D
— Adam Grant (@AdamMGrant) August 16, 2023
Researchers recruited 300 participants in the U.K. Through surveys and questionnaires with people who exercised at least one day a week before work and worked a minimum of 20 hours, the scientists kept track of subjects’ exercise levels, work engagement, emotional exhaustion and job-related anxiety.
Riding and exercise in general are beneficial and important at any time of day, so no need to worry if you are on a tight schedule and can only squeeze in those rides after supper. Riding later in the day has been found to have benefits of a different kind, potentially aiding in blood sugar control. Researchers explain that exercise at any time “has been found to be predictive of decreases in negative affect and increases in positive affect, self-efficacy and self-esteem on the day you perform it.”
While your evening ride may help you unwind, if you want to add some zest to your workday, you may want to start setting that alarm earlier. Researchers determined that when people exercise before work, they approach their work tasks on this day more strongly, perceiving them as positive challenges. They have a more enthusiastic outlook, seeing fewer threatening aspects in their work. From this flows more energy during the day, more…