Hate Your Job? Have More Sex!Men and women who enjoy a healthy sex life get a bonus from the romps between the sheets: better job satisfaction.
"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 Oregon State University researcher Keith Leavitt, 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."
It's the ultimate in a strong work-life balance.
Leavitt's team recruited 159 married employees who completed two brief surveys every day for two weeks. They found that the employees who had sex reported more positive moods the next morning. In addition, those elevated mood levels led to more sustained work engagement and job satisfaction throughout the workday.
The effect, which lingered for at least 24 hours, was equally strong for both men and women and was present even after the researchers accounted for marital satisfaction and sleep quality, which are two common predictors of daily mood.
Why does sex have this effect? Sexual intercourse triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with the reward centers in the brain, as well as oxytocin, a neuropeptide associated with social bonding and attachment. That makes sex a natural and relatively automatic mood elevator.
The study also showed that bringing work-related stress home from the office negatively impinges on employees' sex lives. In an era when smart phones are prevalent and after-hours responses to work emails are often expected, the findings highlight the importance of leaving work at the office. When work carries so far into employees' personal lives that they sacrifice things like sex, their engagement in work can decline.
"This is a reminder that sex has social, emotional and physiological benefits, and it's important to make it a priority," Leavitt said. "Just make time for it."
The study findings were published in the Journal of Management.
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