Do you want to help your employees de-stress at the office? No, I’m not suggesting you hand out stress balls adorned with your company logo. We’re talking about workplace yoga — a proven practice that creates strength and harmony between the mind and body. A workplace yoga program can reduce your employees’ stress and tension, AND help them become more physically fit.
Yoga is a form of exercise that can be performed anywhere. Because each pose offers modifications, it can be enjoyed by people of all fitness levels. There are more than 100 types of yoga. However, most practices include breathing exercises, meditation, and movement between different poses.
Why Offer Workplace Yoga?
Working in an office might not be physically demanding, but it certainly takes a toll on the human body. Daily activities like hunching over a keyboard or sitting for prolonged periods of time can lead to stress, tension, and illness. According to Mental Health America, depression ranks among the top three most common illnesses in the workplace. Practicing yoga over time (for ex- consistently taking classes for 3-6 months) has been shown to reduce depression by more than 50 percent, according to a study by Brown University.
Workplace yoga offers your employees a break from the hectic workday hustle or a way to unwind after a long day. Not only will you and your employees feel better, but studies show that workplace wellness programs increase morale and improve productivity. A study by Family Physician’s Inquiries Network found that practicing yoga improved symptoms of anxiety and depression by up to 40 percent.
Yoga is probably one of the easiest wellness programs to implement because there’s no equipment required. All you need is a few floor mats and some willing participants. If you have a meeting room or open lobby, you already have a space that’s ready for yoga.
Physical Benefits of Yoga
- Improves flexibility
- Builds muscle strength
- Protects the spine
- Increases blood flow
- Improves balance
- Reduces muscle tension
Yoga Lowers Blood Pressure – A 2019 meta-analysis (49 studies) in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that yoga sessions that focus on breathing and relaxation can positively impact blood pressure, reducing high blood pressure by as much as 11/6 mmHg, which is the equivalent of aerobic exercise. Another study by Harvard found that heart rates dropped significantly and good cholesterol (LDL and HDL) rose.
Mental Benefits of Yoga
- Stress management
- Increases energy
- Improved concentration and decision-making skills
- Decreases stress-related illness
- Increases alertness
Plus, if you pair yoga and meditation together, a UCLA study found that a weekly regime of both could delay age-related mental decline.