Managers who fail to exercise ‘more abusive to employees’.
A new study has found stressed supervisors struggled to cope with time pressures and vented their frustrations at subordinates without regular physical activity.
The Northern Illinois University study found only moderate levels of exercise were necessary to minimise abusive supervision.
This could include just one or two days of exercise per week while the type of exercise appeared to make little difference to the results, they found.
“It appears that the simple act of exercising minimises the negative effects of supervisor workplace stress on subordinates,” said Associate Prof James Burton, who led the study.
The findings, published online in Springer’s Journal of Business and Psychology, add weight to previous research that showed employees generally bear the brunt of their supervisor’s workplace stress.
But the team claimed they were the first to examine how exercise can buffer the relationship between supervisor stress and how their employee perceives abusive supervision or hostile behaviour.
The research involved questionnaires filled out by 98 MBA students and the same number of supervisors from two unidentified American universities.
The students were asked about their supervisor’s behaviour and answers were compared with their manager’s exercise patterns.
Researchers concluded there was a link between negative behaviour and the lack of activity.