Think HBR

A lunch time walk is good for you in more ways than one

Lunch time walk
Jason Duncan
Hunter Business Review
Everybody knows that going for a walk at lunch is a great way to gain some much needed exercise especially if you work in an office. A lunch time walk has also been proven to be a great way to destress and overcome afternoon lack of focus.
I was reading an old article from the New York Times¹ that explained a study published back in 2015 in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports2, which looked into the short term effects of a lunch time walk rather than the long term like weight loss and fitness.
The study was undertaken in the UK where researchers asked sedentary office workers to volunteer to take a 30 minute walk during their lunch break for three of the days of their working week for 10 weeks. At the start of the test the volunteers undertook a series of health, fitness and mood tests showing that they were all out of shape but generally healthy physically and emotionally.
All the volunteers downloaded an app to their phone which had questions for them to answer in the morning and afternoon each day for the 10 weeks. These answers were used by the researches to determine how the volunteers were feeling about life and work, as well as stress, fatigue and motivation.
After the 10 weeks the researchers noticed that the question results were substantially different when people had been on a lunch time walk compared to the days they hadn’t. After a walk people seem more enthusiastic, less tense, had a more relaxed mood and were more able to cope with the afternoon.
I find that a lunch time walk is also a great time to reflect, get away from the computer screen, take in your surroundings, listen to music or catch up on a podcast.
It is also a great opportunity to invite colleges to join you and get to know them better. Also if you have a walking partner you are more likely to keep up with your lunch time walks.
²Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in sport -