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Brisk walk may stop work frustrations spilling into your home

Wednesday, Feb 8, 2017,13:19 IST By anju A A A

Washington | Had a bad day at work? Taking a 90-minute brisk walk or a long swim may prevent office frustrations from spilling over into your home, scientists have found.

The study that tracked sleep patterns and daytime physical movements found employees who recorded an average of more than 10,900 steps each day were less likely to perpetuate abuse at home than those recording fewer than 7,000.

“Research shows employees who are mistreated at work are likely to engage in similar behaviours at home,” said Shannon Taylor, professor at University of Central Florida in the US.

“If they’ve been belittled or insulted by a supervisor, they tend to vent their frustration on members of their household. Our study shows that happens because they’re too tired to regulate their behaviour,” Taylor said.

The study concludes sleep and exercise are intervention points that can be leveraged to prevent the spread of harmful behaviour.

Study participants included 118 MBA students with full-time jobs who took a survey and then wore activity monitors for a week. A follow-up survey was then sent to the participants’ cohabitants.

Taylor said the study found that burning an additional 587 calories can reduce the harmful effects of mistreatment and help prevent it from carrying into the home.

For the average man, these gains can be achieved with an hour of swimming or a brisk 90-minute walk.

“The findings are particularly compelling given recommendations from the US Centres for Disease Control and the American Heart Association to walk between 8,000 and 10,000 steps per day,” Taylor said.

“I also think the study gives us a new perspective on the importance of getting an adequate amount of sleep and exercise. It’s not just good for you, it’s good for your spouse, too,” she said.