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Can short walks at lunchtime make a difference?

By March 6, 2024March 17th, 2024news & updates
trundle walking app. Can short walks at lunchtime make a difference?

Can short walks at lunchtime make a difference?

Of course, you know that the answer is going to be yes.  Even a 20-minute lunchtime walk most days will have a positive impact on both your health and productivity.  And if you turn it into a walk-and-talk with a colleague, you may find it easier to solve some tricky business challenges too.

So, where’s the evidence for all this?

How a lunchtime walk can improve your health

As you may know, there’s a well-known Italian saying ‘l’appetitto vien mangiando’ or ‘appetite comes with eating’.  This neatly sums up the annoying post-meal yearning for something sweet.  Firstly, a 20-minute walk after a meal has been shown to help manage blood-sugar levels and curb urges for unhealthy snacks between meals.  What’s more, even short bursts of daily exercise can assist in weight-management and support a healthy-heart regime.

Impact of short walks on mental health and productivity

Another study in 2015 showed that a gentle lunchtime walk can improve people’s mood and their ability to handle work stress.

This University of Birmingham research compared the moods and stress levels of workers who went walking after lunch to a sedentary control group. In effect, after a lunchtime walk, participants felt less stressed, more enthusiastic and able to cope than on afternoons where they hadn’t walked.  And this upbeat afternoon feeling even compared favourably with their own mood on the morning before a walk.

A lunchtime walk can boost creative thinking

Similarly, going out with a colleague can result in more creative solutions to a problem or challenge. A Stanford University study showed that walking boosts creative thinking, not only in real time, but afterwards too.

One of their experiments found that a person walking could produce twice as many creative responses when compared to someone sitting down.  In the same study, indoor treadmill versus outdoor walking was compared, with the conclusion that walking outdoors amplified the positive effect on creativity.

All of this supports the benefits of mixing outdoor walks into your day. Whether that’s during lunchtime, or breaks at school and college, or by turning a work meeting into a walking one.

And if these walks are trundls, there will be another benefit of raised social self-esteem from helping some great causes.

It’s a walk. But it’s better xx