Proof that exercise and overal physical fitness will make you smarter and more productive is getting bigger and more convincing. The other day I was triggered by a post that states that even a short walk can boost executive control (this is what we would call ratio and conscious decision making). Dr Burr claims that movement is good for your brain and sitting around can have bad health consequences. For this last point there is more evidence to be found, for instance at WebMD. The first point is confirmed by studies like these at Harvard and NIH. A while back I came across an article that states that in school when 8 year olds ride a bike for 20 minutes directly before doing a reading test they will score like 9 years olds (on average). And there is a lot more evidence out there on the short term and on the long run. The last meaning that healthy and fit kids have better ‘executive control’. The more innovative meeting places in The Netherlands are experimenting with meeting rooms without seating or with very uncomfortable seating. The concept of a Walk and Talk has gained modest attention but at our office the best conversations are made walking in the park next to the office. Walk and Talk was introduced in 1996 when the surgeon general in the US advocated a minimum of 30 minutes activity every day.
I walk around a lot during meetings to get my bloodflow running and be more productive. During meetings where the social pressure is to high to standup my energy levels are genuinely lower and I feel the energy flowing away. During the working day I want to walk around as much as possible. Remaining seated for more than an hour feels wrong and it is!
What do you do to stay in shape and have better executive control?