How to Power a Brain

SQN’s Digital Marketing Executive Rob Horne @rch_93 reflects on what lifestyle fuels his ideal work day. 

I had done no exercise for around two weeks (usually going for multiple runs in that time and even, sometimes, being quite fast!) and was feeling less creative around the office. My efficiency was dwindling, my initiative was inhibited, and it all got me wondering – was there an actual relationship to be found between workplace productivity and daily exercise?

I should have gone for one of those runs before starting this blog post to ensure that it was written with a fully engaged and energised brain, the sort of brain that is becoming less and less of a luxury these days in the workplace. I did not go for a run, however, as it was raining outside – and so you are stuck with however this product of an inactive noggin turns out.

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There are many benefits of regular exercise – improved concentration, sharper memory and lower stress being just three of them. Exercise increases your ability to absorb information to sponge-like rates and certainly seems of use to those struggling with a hectic workflow.

Exercise goes beyond the physical benefits, too – a healthy mindset can enrich your existence, providing you with drive and self-confidence that can become woefully amiss when stuck in a grind for too many months. Your brain requires as much training as your other muscles and your diet, exercise and perspective are the best ways to contribute. Meditation, healthy eating, dancing, yoga – there is an avalanche of opportunity.

I recognised where I was headed and decided to start exercising in my lunch break. I scoured endless websites in my quest for health and knowledge, gaining hints and tips on achieving these life goals. I’m yet to start but have refused a second donut and so shall revel in my progress. 

And so that you don’t have to endure all those sites with their disturbingly perfect-looking men and women, right out of a quinoa advert, making you feel oh-so-morbidly-obese with their smug faces, I have compiled an easy list of these “top tips”, farmed fresh – as everything is – from the active community lifestyle.

Walk from the car to the office. Park a little further away each week, and get those extra miles in. Also, go for a walk during lunchtime.

Drink more water. At least eight glasses a day – whether slightly more or less, it is imperative to stay hydrated in order to function properly.

Eat breakfast. It really is the most important meal of the day (however early you wake up). You also slim faster if you eat breakfast, so a diet is no reason to skip it!

Cut out snacks. Staying hydrated also makes you feel full, reducing inclinations to snack. Acquiring foods such as dried fruit, trail mix or zero fat yoghurt to minimise snack damage. I might need to hide the office biscuits.

Exercise and stretch at your desk. Try 30 seconds of stretching/exercise for every 30 minutes of work at your desk. It will promote blood flow through muscles that can become dangerously under-utilised in office-based roles.


A study conducted at Leeds Metropolitan University examined the influence of daytime exercise on office workers with access to a company gym (beginning to see a theme here!). The days when workers accessed the gym were the most productive, with time most efficiently managed and interactions between colleagues being of the best quality.

Your colleagues all have the same worries, concerns and dresses that they can’t fit into – rally the troops and be creative, finding something that the whole office can do in nurturing each other’s performance. According to Oxford University’s rowing team, exercising with other people is not only more fun but leads to better results. Time to start a workplace fitness group, I reckon!

We function how we feel, so let’s ensure that we feel great. In the workplace, at home – in everything we do. We are the guides of our own bodies, with the power to direct it where we wish. Cast off lazy bones and let fitness be fun. Distance thoughts of chores that exercise may currently make you feel. Find activities to do after work, before work, even during work – the results, so I hear, will surprise you!