Exercise to increase workflow

Exercise - to increase tone and workflow
Exercise - to increase tone and workflow Credit: REX

Happiness increases productivity in the workplace by 31 per cent, sales figures by 37 per cent and accuracy by 19 per cent. Impressive, but nothing new there. What is a revelation however, is the part that exercise can play in increasing our cognitive function, creativity and productivity, especially in the workplace, say scientists.

According to researchers, working out is one of the most effective ways to become more driven, focused and confident. Scientist Steven Kolter agrees. Having studied the state of 'flow' for some time - classified as the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energised focus - Kolter thinks that exercise is singularly the most effective way to experience said focus - and not just while you're in the gym act - regularly in fact.

"The average business person spends less than five per cent of their day in flow. If you could increase that to 15 per cent overall workplace productivity would double," he explains. The only hitch is you'd need to exercise regularly to reap the benefit of 'flow', but according to Kolter, the more you exercise the more driven you become - so our gym plans might be a little easier to stick to as well. In theory.

The team behind Psycle, the London-based spinning studio, have looked at the research and integrated it into their game plan. "Psycle sessions have been designed to get riders into a state of flow - to lose themselves in the lights, the beat, the music, the environment," explains Rhian Stephenson, CEO of Psycle London. No wonder its latest studio is expecting to resonate with new custom - Stephenson has picked Canary Wharf as the new location. Savvy.

She's right in her strategy however. According to studies carried out by The University of British Columbia it was aerobic activity that trumped weights when it came to boosting brain power and specifically verbal memory and learning - something a bit like spinning perhaps?

Excitedly Stephenson also adds that, "while the long term positive effects on cognitive and mental acuity are known, research into the immediate effects of exercise on the brain is starting to emerge as well." We already have news that creativity is boosted for two hours after workout courtesy of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking. Cue employers boosting your pay packet with free gym classes - oh wait, they already are.

But all this research isn't just about making your working day count. The other spin on the brain boosting effect of exercise is that working out actually increases the size of our brain over time too by increasing blood flow, specifically the hippocampus, vital for memory, learning and logical thinking - and also keeping depression and anxiety in check.