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Exercise Can Help Reconcile Work/Life Balance

Exercise Can Help Reconcile Work/Life Balance  A new study suggests that regular exercise gives an individual the belief that they have an appropriate balance between work and home.

“Individuals who exercised regularly were more confident they could handle the interaction of their work and home life and were less likely to be stressed at work,” said Russell Clayton, Ph.D., professor of management at Saint Leo University and lead author on the paper.

Experts say that conflict between work and home can be categorized in two ways. Work interference with family describes typical job-based pressures that can lead to interference (either time or psychologically) of family time. Or, family interference with work is when personal issues find a way into the workday and compete with “work time.”

Researchers wanted to find if exercise helped both.

Previous studies have shown that exercise helps to reduce stress. A previous study examined tai chi exercise programs over 12 weeks.

Another study looked at high-intensity aerobic exercise. Both showed reductions of self-reported stress.

What researchers didn’t know is if the reduction of stress actually helped empower individuals to feel they had better work-life balance.

“The idea sounds counterintuitive. How is it that adding something else to our work day helps to alleviate stress and empower us to deal with work-family issues?

“We think exercise is a way to psychologically detach from work – you’re not there physically and you’re not thinking about it either – and, furthermore, it can help us feel good about ourselves.”

Researchers examined responses of 476 working adults to survey questions.

Respondents were asked on a four-point scale (1 never – 4 always) questions about exercise behavior.

For example, “I exercise more than three days a week.” Respondents were then asked a number of questions on a 7-point scale (strongly disagree – strongly agree) about their confidence in handling work-family conflicts.

“Our findings suggest that employers can help employees with work-life balance by encouraging them to exercise.”

These findings will be published in the journal Human Resource Management.

Source: Dick Jones Communication


Spining at gym photo by shutterstock.

Exercise Can Help Reconcile Work/Life Balance

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Exercise Can Help Reconcile Work/Life Balance. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 18, 2018, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
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