Feeling down lately? The key to happiness may be in the weight room, according to new research.
A new survey of 2,000 employed Americans found that nearly every respondent (79 percent) said they always feel happier when they have a regular exercise routine.
But while that road to happiness seems easy enough, finding the time — and the energy — to squeeze exercise in on a regular basis is quite challenging for those with demanding jobs.
The study, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Gympass, revealed that nearly half of those polled (48 percent) said they are so busy with work that they don't have any time to exercise at all.
And even if they did have the time, they don't have the stamina — 51 percent of respondents say that sitting down at their desk for eight straight hours a day drains the energy out of them.
Over six in ten also say that by the time they clock out for the day they're way too tired to even think about going for a run or hitting the weights.
And even if they had the time and the stamina — money is yet another barrier. Sixty-one percent say that a gym membership is simply too expensive for their budget.
Despite those barriers, employed Americans very badly want to lead more active lifestyles.
While regular exercise was found to make people happier, it was also found to make people more productive at work, with 56 percent of respondents saying they work smarter when they have a healthy exercise routine.
"Exercising is one of the most important lifestyle changes we can make to become happier, healthier, and more productive," said Marco Crespo, US CEO, Gympass. "Yet, employees across the US are finding it increasingly difficult to include physical activity in their lives."
Employed Americans were found to get just over three hours of exercise a week — far fewer than they'd like to.
The 61 percent who were hungry for more exercise said they'd ideally like to get that, on average, nine hours of exercise per week — a six hour uptick.
Breaking up the work day to hit the weights or take a jog would be revelatory for the majority of those polled, with 75 percent saying that they would be twice as productive at work if they were able to take a break at some point and get some exercise in.
While many of those polled said they have a hard time staying motivated at work, 47 percent of the panel said that they could find that motivation from their employer paying for their gym membership.
Half of those polled said they'd also feel more inclined to stay with the company if they at least helped pay for a gym membership.
"Gympass helps break down the barriers that prevent employees from becoming active by partnering directly with fitness facilities and corporations," said Crespo. "When our clients invest directly in employees physical activity, they see increased retention and a more productive workforce. Most importantly, employees are happier and healthier having achieved their fitness goals."