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Tell ’em to Take a Walk Before Telling Them to Take a Hike

We all know exactly what 2pm feels like and how much we may feel like telling someone to take a hike. Staring at the clock, willing the minute hand to move faster, wishing we had taken a later lunch because there are still three hours left in the work day and we are utterly exhausted. Whatever joy and optimism we brought into work with us this morning has died a slow and painful death by 2pm, when we aren’t sure we won’t nod off at our desk.  At least everyone else is just as exhausted, so they probably won’t notice.

If you need an energy boost at work and can’t stand the idea of drinking another cup of stale office coffee, a new study out of the University of Birmingham shows that half-an-hour of walking over your lunch break will improve your mood and help you handle stress better. We all know that walking has incredible long-term benefits, but the results of the study really emphasized how quickly the short-term benefits of taking a walk paid off.

According to the New York Times Article, “The Benefits of a Lunch Hour Walk,”

On the afternoons after a lunchtime stroll, walkers said they felt considerably more enthusiastic, less tense, and generally more relaxed and able to cope than on afternoons when they hadn’t walked and even compared with their own moods from a morning before a walk.”

So, the next time your co-worker’s bad attitude has you ready to storm out the door and quit, you might want to encourage them to take a walk.  Of course, if every little thing they say and even the way they breathe has your skin crawling, you might be the one in need of a leisurely midday hike to clear our mind and help you regain your focus.

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