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July 2014
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Dark homemade chocolate bars and cocoa pod on wooden
TD Magazine

The ROI of Chocolate

Turns out, it's higher than you might think.

Intelligence8
If you've been wondering whether to invest in another bag of chocolate for that empty candy bowl on your desk, consider this: Chocolate makes people happy, and that's based on research.

Although we don't need a science experiment to tell us that a sweet treat can boost our mood, many of us probably would be skeptical of the theory that this small indulgence can really translate to a more productive workforce. But in a recent study, researchers at the University of Warwick found links between chocolate, happiness, and productivity.

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Study subjects were given a piece of chocolate or shown a short clip of a stand-up comedian. They were then asked to complete a series of mathematic equations. The researchers found that productivity increased by 10 percent to 12 percent in the chocolate-consuming or comedy-watching test subjects over the placebo group, who were given nothing before being asked to do math.

The very act of indulging a craving is enough to improve one's mood. For many, chocolate happens to be the indulgence of choice.

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Science says there's more to it, however. Consciously or not, we reach for chocolate because the ingredients, chemical makeup, and texture of chocolate all trigger reactions in our brains that make us happier. For example, eating chocolate stimulates the release of endorphins, which reduce our feelings of pain and stress. Chocolate also contains small amounts of caffeine, a stimulant, as well as magnesium, a mineral that helps to calm muscles and reduce anxiety.

So go ahead and invest in your candy bowl. That afternoon meeting just might be more tolerable if you preface it with a piece of chocolate.

MG
About the Author
Marissa Garff is a former project manager for ATD’s production department.
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