Regular exercise may help people be more productive, according to research conducted on rats.
Research from University of Otago that was published in American journal Plos One showed rats that had daily exercise also had increased productivity throughout the day.
Rats that ran for 20 minutes a day, five days a week, out-performed rats that weren't exercised in tasks that involved problem-solving, persistence and strategy, lead author of the study Kristin Hillman said.
The study showed a benefit of added productivity to staying physically active, Dr Hillman said.
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"We all know exercise is good for our physical and mental health, but this data suggests that regular exercise may also help make you more productive when it comes to getting tasks accomplished each day."
There was a "causal relationship" between regular exercise and productivity, she said.
"At the end of the day, it's all well and good to do cognitive tasks effectively, but does it actually lead to a benefit in productivity?" she told the Herald.
Such correlations could be riddled with confounding psychosocial factors, such as family environment, socio-economic status and personality traits.
"We thought that based on previous literature, the rats that exercise would do better in certain tasks - but we were quite surprised that they really did better across all of the tasks."
Scientists would next figure out the neural mechanisms responsible for this effect, Dr Hillman, a lecturer in psychology and a neuroscientist by training, said.