Sometimes, it feels like all we ever do is work. From the commute, to designated office hours, to late night deadline crunches, to that pre-morning shower glance at your business email, it can prove challenging to not feel like you’re working your life away.
According to a study conducted by Oregon State University researcher, Keith Leavitt, a great way to make your workweek more tolerable is by having sex.
“We make jokes about people having a ‘spring in their step,’ but it turns out this is actually a real thing and we should pay attention to it,” says Leavitt, who is an expert in organizational behavior and management. “Maintaining a healthy relationship that includes a healthy sex life will help employees stay happy and engaged in their work, which benefits the employees and the organizations they work for.”
As this study reminds us, sexual intercourse activates the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that jolts the brain’s reward and pleasure centres. What’s more, sex gets oxytocin flowing, a neuropeptide viewed by many as “the love hormone,” because of its ability to motivate social bonding and attachment. Thus, Leavitt notes sex can act as a “relatively automatic mood elevator” that carries lasting benefits.
To work out this theory, 159 married couples participated in a two-week study designed to analyze “the impact of sex on work.” Each day, the couples would complete two short surveys.
Results showed that employees who had active sex lives claimed to be in positive moods the next day. What’s more, these individuals had more “sustained work engagement” and “job satisfaction” once back at the office.
Leavitt’s study also indicated that this happier, post-sex feeling sustained itself for at least 24 hours, regardless of gender.
“This is a reminder that sex has social, emotional and physiological benefits, and it’s important to make it a priority,” contends Leavitt. “Just make time for it.”
Those who don’t “make time for it” and focus most of their time on work can see their “job satisfaction” drop, revealed the study.
Essentially, the key is to maintain a steady work-life balance.
Explains Leavitt: “Making a more intentional effort to maintain a healthy sex life should be considered an issue of human sustainability, and as a result, a potential career advantage.”