Four Benefits of Office Yoga Programs
Yoga, the age-old, mindful practice of exercising the body and soul, has found its way into the workplace. Those who practice yoga at work during their lunch break or free time, are discovering its many benefits.
Published in 2012, an Occupational Medical journal looked into those supposed benefits. The study drew participants in a government office in Great Britain, lasting for eight weeks.
In the study, one group of workers performed yoga exercises for 50 minutes once a week. To help draw a comparison, a control group was instructed to avoid exercise altogether.
The yoga group experienced much less back pain, lower stress, greater self-confidence, more peace of mind, and better concentration. By comparison, the sedentary group said they experienced more hostility, stress and back pain.
So, what can you expect as a business-owner who’s adopting office yoga?
Greater Energy Around the Office
Every office worker knows what that mid-day slump feels like. Luckily, yoga doesn’t just provide a workout, but gives a person some much-needed energy.
In an interview with Huffington Post, yoga instructor Vyda Bielkus touted the energy benefits of yoga. “You’re moving the circulatory system and awakening the nervous system — basically bringing new life into the body,” said Bielkus.
Not only does office yoga give a boost of energy, but it can prevent a burnout feeling. Published in 2015, a study focused on nurses who performed yoga sessions over an eight-week stretch. Despite working an exhausting job, the nurses noted fewer feelings of burnout.
A Source of Stress Relief
Along with the feeling of exhaustion, work can create stress. The tension, frustration and hurried feeling can take a toll on employees.
A study from the University of Utah tested brain activity from people in pain. Participants who regularly performed yoga exhibited far less of a stressful reaction when put in slight pain.
With that improved stress relief, also comes less anger at work. Studies have proven a significant decrease in the hormone that produces aggression after office yoga.
Increased Focus and Productivity
It may seem counterproductive to spend a half hour doing yoga in the office. That quickly becomes 30 minutes where you can’t respond to emails or answer a phone call. But, once that half hour is up, employees should notice an uptick in their focus.
Josh Schuster spoke with the New York Post in 2014 about his use of yoga in the office. Schuster is the president of a real estate company in New York and emphasized the burst of work he gets finished after the exercise. “I become so much more focused if I’m not stressed, because I can zero in on what really matters to me,” said Schuster. He noted that despite working 13 hours in a day, he can get 20 hours of work finished after 60 minutes of yoga.
Physical and Mental Health Improves
We know that yoga reduces stress, improves focus and improves energy.
According to the Mayo Clinic, office yoga can also help manage chronic health conditions. Cancer, insomnia, high blood pressure, and even depression can improve with regular yoga.
Employees don’t need to be a yoga expert to take advantage of the exercise. They don’t even need much room, with many stretches easily done at the desk.
As long as there’s a bit of time for some yoga, things can improve greatly throughout the office.
Need some more tips to improve health within the office? Passport Health can help! Schedule an appointment with your local Passport Health clinic by calling or fill out a contact form and speak to a representative.
Written for Passport Health by Jerry Olsen. He has over 15 years of combined experience as a writer and editor in Salt Lake City. Jerry’s writing topics range from health care, travel, life science to medical technology and technical writing.