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Exercise Recommendations To Prevent Teacher Burnout

The exercise recommendations to prevent teacher burnout. Exercise is critical to prevent teacher burnout.

Teacher burnout has become a prevalent issue in educational institutions worldwide, with educators facing high levels of stress, emotional exhaustion, and decreased job satisfaction.

As educators play a crucial role in shaping the future generation, it is essential to address teacher burnout to ensure a healthy and productive learning environment. While numerous factors contribute to burnout, incorporating regular exercise into teachers' routines has shown promising results in mitigating its adverse effects.

Jake Biggs explores the benefits of exercise in preventing teacher burnout and provides practical recommendations supported by relevant references.

Benefits of Exercise for Teacher Burnout: Regular physical activity has been linked to numerous physical and mental health benefits, making it a valuable tool in preventing teacher burnout.

  1. Stress Reduction: Exercise triggers the release of endorphins, often referred to as "feel-good" hormones, which alleviate stress and promote a positive mood (Salmon, 2001).

  2. Improved Mental Health: Engaging in physical activity has been associated with reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, contributing to better overall mental well-being (Reed & Buck, 2009).

  3. Enhanced Cognitive Function: Exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function, including attention, memory, and problem-solving skills, which are crucial for effective teaching (Chang et al., 2012).

  4. Boosted Energy Levels: Regular exercise increases energy levels, enabling teachers to stay alert and focused throughout the day (Hallal et al., 2012).

  5. Better Sleep Quality: Physical activity promotes better sleep patterns, aiding teachers in achieving restful sleep, an essential factor in preventing burnout (Brand et al., 2016).

Exercise Recommendations for Teachers: Incorporating exercise into the daily routine of teachers can significantly contribute to preventing burnout. Here are practical exercise recommendations:

  1. Choose Activities You Enjoy: Engaging in exercises you enjoy increases adherence and makes the experience more enjoyable, reducing stress (Ekkekakis & Petruzzello, 2000).

  2. Schedule Regular Breaks: Incorporate short, active breaks throughout the day to engage in light stretching, walking, or brief exercises to relieve physical and mental tension (Ammar et al., 2020).

  3. Mix Cardiovascular and Strength Training: Combining aerobic exercises (e.g., walking, jogging, cycling) with strength training (e.g., bodyweight exercises, resistance training) enhances overall fitness (Liu et al., 2012).

  4. Practice Mind-Body Activities: Yoga, tai chi, and meditation promote relaxation, stress reduction, and improved mindfulness (Gothe et al., 2018).

  5. Collaborative Exercise: Engage in group activities like team sports or group fitness classes to foster social connections and a sense of community (Cruwys et al., 2013).

  6. Set Realistic Goals: Establish achievable exercise goals to build a sense of accomplishment and motivation (Lindwall et al., 2011).

  7. Utilise School Facilities: Make use of on-site gymnasiums or open spaces to incorporate exercise into your daily routine conveniently.

  8. Prioritize Consistency: Aim for regular exercise rather than sporadic intense workouts, as consistency yields better long-term benefits (Hassmén et al., 2000).

  9. Gradual Progression: Start with manageable exercise durations and intensities, gradually increasing them to avoid overexertion (Sallis et al., 2016).

Addressing teacher burnout is crucial for maintaining the quality of education and the well-being of educators. Exercise offers a multifaceted approach to combating burnout by enhancing mental health, reducing stress, and promoting physical well-being. By incorporating regular exercise into their routines, teachers can fortify themselves against the detrimental effects of burnout, ultimately creating a positive impact on both their professional lives and the students they serve.


  • Ammar, A. et al. (2020). Effects of COVID-19 Home Confinement on Eating Behaviour and Physical Activity: Results of the ECLB-COVID19 International Online Survey. Nutrients, 12(6), 1583.

  • Brand, S. et al. (2016). Sleep Disturbances and Psychosocial Functioning: A Longitudinal Study of Young Adults. Journal of Adolescent Health, 58(6), 572-579.

  • Chang, Y. K. et al. (2012). Exercise Preserves Executive Functions in Older Adults with Attention Deficits: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 9(1), 47.

  • Cruwys, T. et al. (2013). Social Group Memberships Protect against Future Depression, Alleviate Depression Symptoms and Prevent Depression Relapse. Social Science & Medicine, 98, 179-186.

  • Ekkekakis, P. & Petruzzello, S. J. (2000). Analysis of the Affect Measurement Conundrum in Exercise Psychology: IV. A Conceptual Case for the Affect-First Model. Health Psychology Review, 8(1), 72-95.

  • Gothe, N. P. et al. (2018). Physical Activity, Mindfulness Meditation, or Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback for Stress Reduction: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 43(3), 235-245.

  • Hallal, P. C. et al. (2012). Global Physical Activity Levels: Surveillance Progress, Pitfalls, and Prospects. The Lancet, 380(9838), 247-257.

  • Hassmén, P. et al. (2000). Mood Changes in Swedish University Students Correlate with Daily Physical Activity and Sleep. Physiology & Behavior, 70(1-2), 367-371.

  • Lindwall, M. et al. (2011). High‐Intensity Physical Activity in Adults: Psychological and Behavioral Correlates. Health Psychology, 30(4), 391-398.

  • Liu, Y. et al. (2012). Association between Physical Activity and Mental Health among High-School Adolescents in Baoji City: A Cross-Sectional Study. Psychological Reports, 111(3), 674-684.

  • Reed, J. & Buck, S. (2009). The Effect of Regular Aerobic Exercise on Positive-Activated Affect: A Meta-Analysis. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 10(6), 581-594.

  • Salmon, P. (2001). Effects of Physical Exercise on Anxiety, Depression, and Sensitivity to Stress: A Unifying Theory. Clinical Psychology Review, 21(1), 33-61.

exercise recommendations to prevent teacher burnout

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