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Exercise the Stress Away, Study Reports

Update Date: Jan 31, 2014 11:56 AM EST

Stress can come from multiple aspects of one's life. Several studies have found that stress can be extremely debilitating if people do not know how to handle and manage it. In a new study, researchers examined the effects of stress that comes from balancing work and life. They reported that exercise could relieve the stress caused by the work-life balance.

For this study, the researchers surveyed 476 working adults. The survey included questions about exercise levels and people's ability to handle work and family tasks that might be conflicting. The researchers found that people who exercised frequently reported having a better time managing life and work.

Study author, Russell Clayton, who is an assistant professor of management at Saint Leo University located in Florida explained that people who are able to accomplish exercise goals end up feeling better about themselves. These feelings then encourage them to perform tough tasks with confidence.

"We found that [participants] who exercised felt good about themselves, that they felt that they could accomplish tough tasks, and that carried over into work and family life," Clayton said according to Medical Xpress.

The researchers noted that 55 percent of the participants surveyed were women. The participants worked an average of 40 hours per week with the average age of 41. Roughly around 29 percent of the participants had at least one child that was under the age of 18 and lived at home.

The researchers reported that even though they did not find a cause-and-effect relationship, they did not a very strong association between the two. The team recommends people to consider including exercise into their daily routine gradually. For people who do not exercise regularly, attempting to exercise a lot at the beginning could end up adding more stress.

"People should think of it as a kind of investment. If you put some time into physical activity," said Dr. Natalie Digate Muth, who is a spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise. "You may be active for 30 minutes a day, but the productivity and mental focus you're going to get out of it is going to far exceed what you put into it, from a work and family perspective."

The findings were published in the journal, Human Resource Management.

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