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Does a game of tennis have the power to make you more creative? And does 5-a-side really help you to get promoted? Avery Dennison Office Products, the world’s leading manufacturer of office supplies, has commissioned psychologist Donna Dawson to study how limbering up on the sports field can have unexpectedly positive effects in the workplace…

We all know that physical activity is good for us. So how much sport have you done this week? Whether for reasons of time or motivation, it’s clear that the exercise message isn’t translating into action for around two-thirds of Brits who are either overweight or obese. Factor in that this country takes over 18 million sick days related to obesity every year and it’s not hard to see how the economy would receive a major boost from the working population getting out from behind their desks more often. Avery are currently giving away free tennis or golf lessons in their Claim Save Win promotion to encourage you to do just that – but how can these sports, and others, help you in the workplace?

Work it!
While any physical activity - from running upstairs to taking a walk at lunchtime - will be beneficial to your physical health, Donna Dawson believes that it is the playing of sport that can have a direct effect on your work. ‘When you play sport, you improve your mental as well as your physical prowess,’ she explains. ‘Every sport demands effort, concentration, discipline and perseverance. These are the basic qualities needed in daily working life.' Now savvy workers who want to get ahead nine-to-five are being encouraged to think laterally about which sports they play. Donna believes that different games hone different responses and skills. ‘By understanding the different psychological aspects of each sport, a worker can focus their time and attention on an activity that will have benefits specific to their daily tasks,’ she says. Looks like it’s time to dig out those trainers…!

Getting ahead through sport
Before signing up at your local gym, it’s worth deciding whether you are going to work on an area of personal weakness or bolster an existing strength.

Here’s our guide to help you decide which sport to choose:

• If you’re in a creative industry such as advertising or know you’ve got a brainstorming session in the diary, book a squash court double quick. Fast sports like TENNIS, SQUASH and BADMINTON are great for encouraging the rapid succession of ideas as well as a keen-eyed focus on your opponent.

• If you’re faced with a long, intensive project such as volunteer or fundraising work and feel your enthusiasm starting to flag, consider CYCLING, JOGGING, CROSS-COUNTRY, SWIMMING and AEROBICS. Whether faced with a 10km run or a year-long launch, the winning strategy usually involves setting yourself interim goals to work towards. All of these activities test both mental and physical stamina and will help improve your powers of concentration.

• In a highly competitive industry or a sales environment or when aiming to beat a rival to promotion, prepare to get muddy! FOOTBALL and RUGBY could be the key to your success, boosting leadership qualities and team spirit, while encouraging you to literally keep your eye on the ball at all times. ‘The tactical planning in football or rugby will help you plan ahead and become more organised,’ says Donna. ‘While understanding your enemy’s strengths and weaknesses, you will develop your thinking on the best way to use your own strengths, while minimising any weaknesses.’

• In roles that require strategic planning like marketing or PR, Donna Dawson recommends YOGA, PILATES or TAI CHI. The measured actions combined with steady breathing encourage a deeper, clearer level of thought.

• If working in a highly political organisation, JUDO is the activity for you, forcing you to think several steps ahead and consider the consequences and possible reactions to your move and that of your opponents. You may find yourself covered in bruises, but the boost to your powers of strategic thinking could prove invaluable. (If this sounds a little dramatic, try CHESS!)

Back a winner!
To help you get ahead with your sporting activities, Avery® is offering a FREE tennis or golf lesson with their wide range of Avery Addressing, CD/DVD and Identification labels in their Claim Save Win promotion. Log onto to find out how to claim your voucher and to enter fantastic ‘no purchase necessary’ competitions where you could win a holiday or other goodies!


1. Keep your body active to improve your mental agility at work.

2. Even if you don’t have time for sport or the gym, make regular exercise part of your working day by getting off the bus two stops earlier, or using the stairs instead of the lift.

3. Choose a sport that will help you in the challenges you face at work.

4. Apply your sporting thinking at work to imagine new ways to beat the competition, attract new clients, or to improve your career prospects.

5. Aim for a ‘work/play’ balance in your life. Too little relaxation means you will be too stressed to enjoy your work or to do your best. Too much play will see your health suffer followed by your work.

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For further quotes, product samples or product images, please contact: Vanessa Gardner on 01962 738718 / 07879 661337

Notes to Editors
Avery Dennison Office Products is the world’s leading manufacturer of self-adhesive labels and paper products for laser and inkjet printers, labelling software and index dividers and other office-, home- and school-related supplies. Avery Dennison Office Products has attained Microsoft Gold Partner status.

Avery Dennison Office Products Europe, a business unit of Avery Dennison Corporation, has manufacturing operations in UK, France, Germany and Italy and sales and marketing offices in more than ten countries across Europe.

For more information about AVERY-brand products, visit the UK web site at or call the Avery Consumer Centre on 0800 80 50 20.

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