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How Regular Exercise Helps You Balance Work and Family


Writing for the Harvard Business Review, Assistant Professor Russell Clayton suggests that regular physical exercise, particularly for those with busy schedules, facilitates increased self-efficacy and counterintuitively, a mitigation of conflict between work and home roles.

To tickle your curiosity, see excerpts of Professor Clayton’s article below.  Better still, access his article:


…adherence to regular exercise. New research by my colleagues and I (forthcoming in Human Resource Management) demonstrates a clear relationship between physical activity that is planned, structured, repetitive, and purposive … and one’s ability to manage the intersection between work and home…

respondents who reported regular exercise were less likely to experience conflict between their work and home roles… That's a somewhat counterintuitive finding… exercise reduces stress, and lower stress makes the time spent in either realm more productive and enjoyable.

…we found exercise helping work-home integration via increased self-efficacy. The term refers to the sense that one is capable of taking things on and getting them done – and although self-efficacy is a matter of self-perception, it has real impact on reality. According to psychologist Albert Bandura, people with high self-efficacy are less likely to avoid difficult tasks or situations, and more likely to see them as challenges to be mastered. Our research suggests that people who exercise regularly enjoy greater self-efficacy, and it carries over into their work and home roles…

…the key is to engage in a level of exercise that dissipates stress and adds to your sense of what you are capable of.

It isn't only that exercise supports better physical health. Through its direct impact on increased self-efficacy and reduced psychological strain, exercise leads to better integration of professional and personal lives.

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