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Exercise Could Help You Maintain Work-Life Balance, Study Shows

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Carving out time for exercise in your day could help you feel more in control of your work-life balance, according to a new study.

"The idea sounds counterintuitive. How is it that adding something else to our work day helps to alleviate stress and empower us to deal with work-family issues?" study researcher Russell Clayton, an assistant professor of management at Saint Leo University, said in a statement. "We think exercise is a way to psychologically detach from work -- you're not there physically and you're not thinking about it either -- and, furthermore, it can help us feel good about ourselves."

Clayton, who worked with researchers from Saint Louis University, the University of Houston- Victoria, and Illinois State University on the paper, found that regular exercisers experienced less stress at work and had greater confidence in handling conflicts between work and family.

The study, which will be published in the journal Human Resource Management, included 476 working adults who used a four-point rating scale to answer exercise related questions, and a seven-point rating scale to answer questions related to work-life balance and conflict.

"Studying work-family conflict is important from an individual, organizational, and societal perspective. This study enhances our understanding of ways in which individuals and organizations can address the conflict that is inherent between one’s work life and family life," researchers wrote in the study.

The findings could help the half of men and women who say that they find it "very" or "somewhat" difficult to balance responsibilities relating to work and family, LiveScience reported. After all, another recent study showed that people consider having a work-life balance as the top sign of a successful career, compared with how much they earn.

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