A brisk 15-minute walk seems to be the easiest way to cut down chocolate consumption by half at the workplace.
Even in stressful situations, office workers eat only half as much chocolate as they normally would after this short burst of physical activity, according to a new study.
Said Adrian Taylor, professor at Exeter University who led the study: “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,” the journal Appetite reports.
“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.”
Exeter University researchers invited 78 regular chocolate-eaters to enter a simulated work environment, after two days abstinence from chocolate snacking, according to a statement.
Two groups were asked to take a brisk 15-minute walk on a treadmill and were then given work to complete at a desk. One group was given an easy, low-stress task, while the other was asked to complete a more demanding job.
Two other groups were asked to have rest before completing the same tasks as the first two groups.
Again, half were given an easier and the remainder a more challenging task. Chocolate was available in a bowl on the desk for all participants as they carried out their work.
Those who had exercised before working consumed on average half the amount of chocolate as the others: around 15 gm, compared with 28 gm.
The difficulty of the task made no difference to the amount of chocolate they ate, which suggests that stress did not contribute to their cravings for sweet snacks.