So many of us find ourselves sitting at our desks mid-afternoon, a little bit hungry for something sweet and a little bit bored. We put off eating the chocolate we keep in our drawer for a few minutes, telling ourselves we are virtuous and can resist, but then after staring mindlessly at yet another spreadsheet or annoying email from a colleague, we think "Oh, fuck it. I am just going to eat a few of these M&Ms. I'll be good starting tomorrow." Well, now science seems to have discovered a neat little trick to help you eat a little bit less of that sanity candy starting today. According to new research out of the University of Exeter, if you take a short walk, you'll eat less chocolate.
The study used "78 regular chocolate-eaters" (there are worse things to be called) and split them into two groups. One group was asked to take a short rest, and the other group was made to take a 15-minute walk on a treadmill. Then both groups were placed at a desk to do some work (half of each group did an easy task and half a more demanding task). There was chocolate out on all the desks for people to snack on while they worked. They found that the group that had exercised before sitting down "consumed on average half the amount of chocolate as the others — one small 'treat size' or 'fun size' chocolate bar instead of two." If you spread that out over a lifetime, that's a lot of chocolate not eaten.
So, if you want to halve your chocolate consumption, maybe take a quick walk at lunch. Piece of cake, right? Now if only we could find a way to make a 15-minute walk cut the number of emails you had to read in half.
Image via Mikael Damkier/Shutterstock.