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Rough Day at Work? Exercise and Sleep Are the Best Ways to Shake It Off. A new study shows that getting enough exercise and shut-eye will stop your temper from getting the best of you.

By Nina Zipkin


We all have those days when the stresses of work follow us home.

But a recent study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology has found that two simple activities -- exercise and sleep -- can go a long way toward not only making you feel better, but also making sure that your bad day doesn't affect your home life.

Researchers from the University of Central Florida, the University of Illinois and the University of Wisconsin asked 118 MBA students with full-time jobs to wear activity monitors for a week. They also surveyed the people whom those participants lived with.

Related: Stressed Out? Three Tips to Build Resilience

They found that participants who took a daily average of 10,900 steps were less likely to take out their frustrations on their loved ones than those who took an average of less than 7,000 steps a day.

The study also found that burning about 587 calories can translate to shaking off a tough day and stop an individual from bringing work issues home with them. The authors recommended activities such as walking and swimming.

The researchers also identified a link between engaging in activity and feeling rested the next day, noting that "workplace undermining is associated with poorer (perceived) sleep quality and, in turn, greater home undermining, but only among individuals who reported exercising less, took comparatively fewer steps each day and expended less energy."

Related: 7 Ways to Live With Job Stress That Isn't Going Away

In other words, those who exercised found they got a better night's sleep, and those who slept better were less likely to have their work issues spill over into their home life.

If an employee has "been belittled or insulted by a supervisor, they tend to vent their frustration on members of their household," UCF College of Business management professor Shannon Taylor explained in a release accompanying the study. "Our study shows that happens because they're too tired to regulate their behavior."

Get a good night's sleep, get some fresh air and get active. Your employees, colleagues and especially your loved ones will thank you for it.

Nina Zipkin

Entrepreneur Staff

Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

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