Why a simple stroll can spell career success.

It’s commonly known that walking can deliver health benefits. But experts say it can also help you climb the career ladder.  Successful figures, from Aristotle to Barack Obama and Steve Jobs, have long espoused the benefits of the walk n’ talk meeting. Tricky conversations seem somehow easier, silences more comfortable, the atmosphere more convivial, the hierarchy less rigid. Want more reasons? Here are five.

1: It can increase productivity

We all know that after a long stretch staring at our screens thoughts turn to lunch/gossip/lunch again. Basically we get distracted.  Is the answer a short walk? If you are flat-out busy the idea can seem counterproductive.  Not so. The University of Illinois has been conducting studies into walking and focus since before 2004 and consistently report that brief diversions could vastly improve focus.  A walk could reenergize the brain and trigger creativity.

2: Chances are you’ll be a better office buddy

You know how it is. Someone (always the same someone) fails to return your stapler. Another person schedules a meeting for 5pm on a Friday.  It’s enough to send you into office rage.  The answer? Might be to go for a stroll. Some studies show walking can decrease anger, hostility and sadness. Which is good because these aren’t exactly the qualities you look for in a desk mate.

3: It could grow your brain

You know how too much chair time can leave your body looking like a melted candle? Well it makes sense that a sedentary lifestyle could be doing the same thing to your brain. Need hard facts to incentivize you to pull on your FitFlop shoes and get walking? A 2017 Western Sydney University study found that aerobic exercise (including walking) could improve memory function and maintain brain health.

4: It’ll make you more resilient

Princeton University found low intensity  ‘exercise reorganises the brain to be more resilient to stress.’

5: Boost Energy

You might think that to get some extra pep before that big presentation you should a) have a snooze under your desk or b) mainline some flat whites. A better alternative might be to go for a walk.  In a physiological quirk it seems that to boost energy you need to expend it.  This is backed up by an ‘08 University of Georgia paper that shows low intensity activity could increase sedentary people’s energy levels by 25%.

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