Workplace Yoga intervention program reduces stress and back pain while improving psychological well-

Stress is a leading factor in sickness resulting in absence from work. Absence from work affects overall productivity. By implementing a weekly yoga intervention program a company promotes health, mindfulness, and well-being among its employees, decreases sickness related absences and increases productivity.

Randomized controlled trials have substantiated the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of practicing yoga in the workplace. One study conducted in 2011 in Great Britain (Hartfiel et al. 2012) had 37 participants who did not already practice yoga engage in a weekly 50 minute yoga class at lunchtime for 8 weeks while a controlled group of 37 participants did not engage in the yoga class.

Prior to beginning the program, outcome measures for perceived stress, back pain, and psychological well-being (measured in terms of feelings of alertness and enthusiasm versus feelings of lethargy and sadness) were taken for both groups. At the beginning of the study there was no measurable difference in the baseline scores for stress, back pain, and psychological well-being among the two groups.

At the end of the program the yoga group showed significant decrease in perceived stress and back pain compared to the control group, which experienced no change. Psychological well-being improved greatly among the yoga group and participants enjoyed increased feelings of serenity and attentiveness, and felt more self-assured, while participants in the control group reported having feelings of fatigue and fear. Considering the results of this study which were published in 2012 in the British journal for Occupational Health - which employees would serve your company best?

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