Participation in mentally and physically demanding adventurous training increases resilience in office workers.
That is the central conclusion of research being presented today, Friday 12 January, by Nicola Bass at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology’s annual conference in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Nicola Bass says, ‘Building resilience in office-based staff is an aim for organisations, and we were keen to investigate whether staff working in office environments but with potential access to demanding Army Adventurous Training are more resilient than their peers.’
A sample of 92 serving Regular and Reserve Army Officers currently working in office environments were recruited for the study, half of whom had participated in an adventurous training activity lasting for at least five days within the previous nine months.
Aged between 24 and 55, the participants completed a questionnaire that measured their levels of resilience, with the group who had recently participated in the training scoring significantly higher than those who had not.
Army Adventurous Training is designed to develop qualities such as leadership and teamwork through challenging outdoor activities, which can include canoeing, freefall parachuting, and mountain biking.
Nicola Bass, who worked alongside Dr Ann Bicknell on the study, adds, ‘Our research showed that recent participation in Army Adventurous Training can make staff currently working in an office environment more resilient.
‘Whilst care must be taken when generalising from Army staff to the civilian population, those taking part in the study were posted in an environment that is similar to many civilian offices, with less opportunity for staff to be taken out of their physical and mental comfort zones on a regular basis.
‘Building resilience with a view to increasing productivity is a hot topic for a number of organisations, and on the back of this research we would recommend that consideration should be given to sending staff on training that challenges them in this way.’