How Regular Exercise Helps You Balance Work and Family | Heart and Vascular Health |
A reduction in stress is tantamount to an expansion of time.

... the neat trick of successfully integrating work and life mainly through a skillful alignment of priorities

But something else about them, it turns out, has probably helped: their 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 – to use Caspersen and colleagues’ seminal definition of exercise – and one’s ability to manage the intersection between work and home.

My colleagues and I surveyed a population of working adults to gather input regarding both their exercise habits and their experience of resolving work and home demands. Briefly, those respondents who reported regular exercise were less likely to experience conflict between their work and home roles.

That’s a somewhat counterintuitive finding. An exercise regimen is, after all, yet another draw onscarce time – and often deleted from professionals’ lives for exactly that reason. How could adding it to an already busy schedule help resolve work/home tradeoffs?