If you've ever considered asking your employer for permission to coordinate a lunchtime yoga class, here's some information that might help you make your case. A study recently published in the journal Occupational Medicine found that yoga in the workplace reduced employee stress and eased back pain.
Study participants, who were employees of the British government, were asked to practice yoga for 50 minutes once a week for eight weeks. They were also allowed to practice up to twice a week for 20 minutes at home with a DVD. When compared with a group that did no yoga at all, the yoga practitioners reported lower levels of stress and sadness as well as less back pain. While this was a small study with 37 participants in each group, it adds to a growing body of research that confirms yoga's many benefits.
"Integrating yoga into the workplace, at lunchtime or after work, may provide a time-effective, convenient and practical method for reducing the costly effects of stress and back pain," the researchers wrote in the Sept. 25 issue of Occupational Medicine. That's good news for employers who want to reduce the cost of health benefits for employers—and good news for stressed out workers, too.
Researchers said further study is necessary to see if yoga can reduce the number of sick days employers take.
The study abstract is available here.