Just 30 minutes of exercise in the morning could be the secret to boosting your productivity at work

Posted by for Life

Get your day off to a running start – literally.

Going for a morning run or getting in a gym session before work can make us more productive, according to a recent study. 

There’s a lot of focus put on our morning routines – so much so that we’re obsessed with poring over the morning routines of successful women we admire, looking for tips and tricks on how to nail what is often termed the most important part of the day.

And alongside choosing the right alarm clock and finding the best energy-boosting breakfast recipes, a recent study has revealed that getting your body moving could be the secret to getting more done throughout day. In fact, according to researchers from the University of Western Australia, making time to fit in just 30 minutes of exercise every morning could be enough to give your productivity a big boost.

Findings show that half an hour of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, like running or a dance class, in the morning improves cognitive functions associated with decision-making and therefore enables you to be more switched on and productive for the rest of your day.

The paper, entitled Distinct Effects of Acute Exercise and Breaks in Sitting on Working Memory and Executive Function in Older Adults, examined what happened to 67 males and females aged between 55-80 years when they did 30 minutes of morning exercise on a treadmill and then three-minute walks every half an hour throughout the rest of the day, to break up periods of sedentary sitting down. This is something we reckon all office workers recognise as sending you into a slump, no matter what your age.

The researchers then used cognitive assessment tests that were conducted at four different times throughout the day to assess psychomotor function, attention, executive function, visual learning, and working memory.

How exercise can benefit productivity
Morning exercise: spending just 30 minutes moving your body in the morning could help you to tackle your to-do list.

They found that a combination of 30 minutes of morning exercise with breaks throughout the working day gave the best results, but that the initial burst of energy first thing was most crucial to decision making.

Summing up their results, researchers said: “A morning bout of moderate-intensity exercise improves serum BDNF and working memory or executive function in older adults, depending on whether or not subsequent sitting is also interrupted with intermittent light-intensity walking.”

Although we also presumed that starting the day off with a gym session was good for us, this research has cemented its benefits for not just the mind but the body, too. 

If you’re thinking of upping your exercise habits check out these ass-kicking Disney playlists and how strength training can impact your mental health, for added motivation to get moving. Or you could check out Stylist Strong, our very own gym - for membership enquiries, please email membership@allbright.co or visit allbrightcollective.com/membership.

Want to be a part of our brand-new fitness community? Sign up for the Stylist Strong email

Images: Getty

Stylist Strong is a fitness brand specialising in strength training specifically tailored for women. Our classes are designed to build both physical and mental strength in a smart and informed way. 

So, whether you’re a beginner or already have strength-training experience, Stylist Strong has a class to suit you. Come and try our strength-based classes at our own purpose-built studio at The AllBright Mayfair. 

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.

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