The calming influence of yoga has been around for over 3,000 years, but within the corporate setting, it is still a relatively new phenomenon. What started as a bit of a fad, has grown as more and more employers start to see the benefits of yoga in the office and how it can help their staff.
So, is there is more to it than deep breathing and the downward dog, we like to think so. Yoga can bring many benefits into an office, not just for employees, but for employers too.
What are the benefits of yoga in the office?
- Reduce stress – According to the latest figures from the Health & Safety executive over 11 million working days were lost to stress, at a cost of £5.2 billion. It’s no wonder that employee stress, and how to help combat it are high up on company agendas. Yoga has been shown to reduce stress, by concentrating on breathing and taking time to stop and relax all contributes to less frazzled employees.
- Improved physical health – as a species we’re not designed to sit at a desk, hunched over a computer all day. As such, back pain is an issue for many office-based workers. The gentle stretching, breathing and movements used in yoga have been proven to have a beneficial affect to those suffering from back pain. As this article discusses research amongst NHS patients in Wales found that those practising yoga for 60 mins or more a week, were less likely to take sick leave due to back pain, and sought medical help less frequently.
- Improved concentration – the modern world is full of distractions. You can be concentrating on a task when the phone on your desk rings, then the email icon flashes in the corner of your screen, your mobile starts to vibrate in your pocket and not to mention Joanne from accounts popping to your desk every 10 minutes to ask if you’ve got that invoice yet. It can be hard to ignore these distractions and concentrate on the job at hand. Yoga can help people to shut out all the noise, focus their thoughts on one thing. It takes time to master, but it can help people to concentrate better which will benefit everyone.
- Improved productivity and morale – Any activity that employees do together that isn’t 100% related to their job helps to build stronger relationships between colleagues, which in turn create a better working environment. Taking yoga classes together is no exception, it will have a positive impact within the office, for all involved. The stress relieving benefits of yoga will help employees lives on a personal and professional level. And will also have the knock-on effect of making them more productive, happy and engaged at work.
Whether you’re combining as part of a wider employee wellbeing programme or just want to run a weekly or monthly class, workplace yoga sessions are a fantastic way to help your employees to take a breather and destress.