It’s 2022! And with the New Year often come resolutions for improved fitness and self-care.

But let’s be honest, it’s hard to feel motivated when the past two years have been so incredibly draining. The pandemic has been extremely challenging, both personally and professionally, and we’re sure many individuals are feeling burnt out from life and especially their jobs.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), burnout is a result of “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” It is characterized by feelings of energy depletion of exhaustion, feelings of negativism related to one’s job, and reduced professional efficacy. FlexJobs conducted a survey of 1500 people to assess mental health at work and found that 75% of people surveyed have experienced burnout at work and 40% of reported burnout was specifically due to the stress of work during the pandemic. Yikes.

While burnout does have has a negative impact on job performance (i.e., absenteeism and productivity), the more concerning effect of workplace stress is on an individual’s overall health. Burnout has been linked to depression, chronic fatigue syndrome and poor sleep – and we know these conditions play a role in musculoskeletal health as well.

But here’s the good news. There has been existing research to support the benefit of physical activity on psychological wellbeing, but now this is being investigated further to assess the benefits of physical activity specifically on work related burnout. One study found that a combination of resistance training and agility training for 60 minutes a day for three days a week provided improvements in burnout symptoms. Other research has varied in recommendation from 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day, but the most agreed upon factor is that the biggest benefits of exercise come from staying consistent.

So, we’re here to give some tips on how you can stay consistent with your physical activity:

  1. Start with small goals. If you want to get 60 minutes of exercise daily – GREAT! If you’re not quite ready for a whole hour, start with 30 minutes and find a way to work that into your schedule first, then build from there.
  2. Have a plan. If you go into your work out and are winging it, you are going to feel like you are wasting your time. If you’re running, have a plan for your route, warm up and cool down time. If you’re lifting, plan the exercises you want to do so that you can move through your routine seamlessly. If you’re doing a video, gear it up and get it ready the day before so you can jump right in.
  3. Incorporate it into your routine. If adding exercise into your life feels forced, it will just feel like another chore on the list of things to do. Find the right time of day for you – is it easier to wake up early and get it done before the day starts or are you more inclined to get your exercise after your workday is over? There is no right answer! The only answer is the one that makes it easier for you and your life.
  4. Keep it fun! Make your workouts exciting. If you have a list of podcasts that you’ve wanted to listen to but haven’t had the time, do it while your exercise. Personally, I never have time to read. So when I’m out walking or running, I listen to my books. Audible for the win!
  5. Tune out everything else. This one is important! This is NOT the time to multitask. This is your YOU time. Don’t respond to work emails between sets or answer a phone call while you’re walking. Take the time to take care of yourself!

Work burnout is a real issue and can steal your motivation! We hope these tips help you get back on track and stay consistent in 2022. If there is something still holding you back, whether it’s a musculoskeletal issue or if you don’t know where to start, we’re here to help.

 

 

Greco, G. (2021). Effects of combined exercise training on work-related burnout symptoms and psychological stress in the helping professionals. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 16(2), 424- 434. https://doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2021.162.16

Kim, W.H., Ra, Y.A., Park, J.G., & Kwon, B. (2017). Role of burnout on job level, job satisfaction, and task performance. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 38(5), 630-645. https://doi.org/10.1108/lodj-11-2015-0249

Salvagioni, D. A. J., Melanda, F. N., Mesas, A. E., González, A. D., Gabani, F. L., & de Andrade, S. M. (2017). Physical, psychological and occupational consequences of job burnout: A systematic review of prospective studies. PloS one, 12(10), e0185781. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185781

Bianchi, R., Schonfeld, I.S., & Laurent, E. (2015a) Burnout-depression overlap: a review. Clinical Psychology Review 36, 28–41. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2015.01.004

Brand, S., Beck, J., Hatzinger, M., Harbaugh, A., Ruch, W., & Holsboer-Trachsler, E. (2010). Associations between satisfaction with life, burnout-related emotional and physical exhaustion, and sleep complaints. The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, 11(5), 744-754. https://doi.org/10.3109/15622971003624205

Ekstedt, M., Söderström, M., Åkerstedt, T., Nilsson, J., Søndergaard, H.P., & Aleksander, P. (2006) Disturbed sleep and fatigue in occupational burnout. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, 32(2), 121-131. https://doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.987

Gerber, M., Best, S., Meerstetter, F., Isoard-Gautheur, S., Gustafsson, H., Bianchi, R., … & Brand, S. (2018). Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Associations Between Athlete Burnout, Insomnia, and Polysomnographic Indices in Young Elite Athletes. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 40(6), 312-324. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.2018-0083