Skip The Coffee; New Study Says Push Ups Are Better Pick-Me-Up

Every day around 4:00 p.m., JCamm, Reggie Noble, Andy Moore and I hop over to a conference room and bang out some 'shups (as we pefer to call them). It's a nice way to both break up the monotony of the day and get the blood flowing after hours of sitting. (Plus, it really helps with the pecs. Ladies love well-defined pecs.)

Now it appears that just that little hit of exercise can be really, really good for your work performance. From Gregory Ferenstein of the The Daily Beast

I've found that 30 seconds of high-intensity body-weight exercise gives me the same mental boost as a shot of caffeine. After validating the results of my newfound productivity hack on a Stanford-designed test of cognitive performance, these short breaks have become a staple of my workday. 

What Ferenstein did was use a bunch of neural-proficiency tests to see if push ups are better than pick-me-ups.

For instance, one test displays a series of nonsense symbols, each housed in a box labeled 1-9. When a larger version of the symbol displayed, I hit the corresponding number as quickly as possible. Mistakes count against the final score. Essentially, these types of games test if users are paying attention and if they can think on their feet (i.e. if I've got brain fog).  I compared my performance on this test to 250mg of caffeine. My overall score increase 12 percent after exercise, compared to 6 percent on caffeine. 

Two-hundred and fifty milligrams is a lot of caffeine. Three cups, which is an insane amount to inhale for a quick mental boost. Wouldn't you much rather bang out 50 'shups? Us Bros would, and look how smart we are. 

[Pushup Man image via Shutterstock]