New research has shown that a 15-minute walk can cut down your consumption of chocolate by half during working hours.
The study was conducted by the University of Exeter. Turns out, workers eat only half as much chocolate as they normally would after this brief exercise, even when they’re in a rather stressful situation.
The study utilized a simulated work environment. 78 regular chocolate-eaters, who hadn’t had any chocolate in the past two days, participated.
Two groups were asked to walk on a treadmill for 15 minutes and were then given work to complete at a desk. One group’s tasks were easier and less stressful in comparison to the other group.
The other two groups were asked to rest before finishing the same tasks as the first batch. Like the first two groups, one group’s tasks were less challenging and less demanding. Chocolate was put in a bowl the whole time they were working so they could easily snack.
Those who had a brief walk on the treadmill consumed approximately 15g, those who had a rest ate about 28g. 15g is equivalent to a ‘treat size’ or ‘fun size’ chocolate bar.
The difficulty of the task they had to do didn’t affect their consumption of chocolate. Thus, stress did not have anything to do with their sweet-tooth cravings.
Professor Adrian Taylor of the University of Exeter, lead researcher, said: “We know that snacking on high calorie foods, like chocolate, at work can become a mindless habit and can lead to weight gain over time.”
“We often feel that these snacks give us an energy boost, or help us deal with the stress of our jobs, including boredom. People often find it difficult to cut down on their daily treats but this study shows that by taking a short walk, they are able to regulate their intake by half,” he added.
Indeed, exercise can have such amazing effects on mood and energy levels that it is even considered as having the potential in managing addictions.