Back pain is not something anyone enjoys. Back pain can cause employees to miss work, and health care costs are increasing. A business can incur charges of up to $34,600 for every 100 employees per year due to back pain. This is in addition to compensations for work-related disability.
A recent study has found that workplace yoga can reduce sick days and decrease the discomfort of those who suffer from chronic back pain. A workplace yoga practice may also improve your professional life by improving creativity, productivity, and problem-solving.
The study was conducted on 150 employees of the UK National Health Service. It divided them into two groups, yoga and education. The yoga group took an hour-long session once a week for eight weeks. The group received a DVD and asana posters and was encouraged to practice 10 minutes daily at home over six months. The second group was given two pamphlets about back pain management and stress reduction at work.
You won’t be shocked to hear that those with chronic back pain who were in the yoga group after eight weeks experienced less pain than those in the education group. These employees sought medical attention for back pain only half as frequently during the six-month research. Participants who practiced outside of the weekly sessions also benefited more. After six months, employees practicing at home at least 60 minutes per week reported a double reduction in pain. They also reported a decrease in stress. Imagine what 60 minutes/day can do for you.
The study’s yoga group practiced a sequence based on the Australian company’s Healthy Back Program. It consists of four sections: warm-ups, stress-relieving stretching for shoulders and hips, short back restoration poses, and relaxation. The study was based on a gentle Yoga practice that consisted of a few simple backbends. YogaBasics has a Backside blues pose sequence designed to strengthen your back, prevent injury and alleviate mild backache.
Still trying to convince you that you should take time to practice yoga during your day? Yoga at work has many benefits, including physical ones (our bodies were not designed for staring at screens all day!) Research shows that yoga practice can enhance creativity. This is because yoga slows down the rational mind, which is often too powerful. The subconscious mind can shine through and improve problem-solving skills and creative abilities.
Yoga helps us be present. This allows us to have flashes of inspiration and motivation. No need to worry if it doesn’t occur immediately. Stepping back from work or personal drama can help you realize that the world is much bigger than your current challenges, emotional states, or tasks. This makes it easier to tackle them. Yoga and meditation, when fully embraced, can offer a complete escape from past grievances, future worries, and daily struggles.
What can you do to incorporate this into your workday? How can you integrate yoga into your workday if not?