practicing heron pose in corporate yoga classBy Rachel Holmes

Corporate yoga programs have seen a huge rise in popularity in the last few years and many progressive businesses these days are embracing this concept of yoga and wellness programs for their employees wholeheartedly. A quick peek at the statistics will tell us why.

According to a study report published by the University of Michigan Research Center, a business can expect $3 in return (benefits and cost savings) for every $1 invested in wellness and corporate yoga programs for its employees. These programs, seen as part of stress management trainings, help the office workers cope more effectively and creatively with work related stress, help them retain their focus, reduce risks of physical hazards such as back pain and fatigue, and therefore, help in increasing the overall productivity at the workplace.

Injury Prevention

Back pain is the most common injury reported by office workers, especially those working in a corporate setup. Working long periods sitting at the same place results in a sedentary lifestyle and can soon lead to back pain and other health hazards. Businesses in UK lose as much as 119 million workdays each year on account of employee back pain. In US, work injuries cost the businesses as much as $121 billion every year in lost productivity, medical care, and wages. The yoga programs are enjoying the kind of popularity they do on account of the fact that these programs have the ability to turn this whole situation on its head and reverse the trends in a way that will be hugely beneficial both to the business and the workforce individuals.

Let us see in some details what kind of benefits one can expect from such corporate wellness programs and how they help increase productivity and work efficiency.

Yoga helps revitalize our major body organs and our immune system. At the same time, it helps flush the waste products off our system. Alcohol and other such waste products will be released from our body almost 3-4 times more quickly when we are practicing yoga. Yoga also helps detoxify our muscles and tone them and relieves insomnia, back and neck strain, high blood pressure, carpal tunnel syndrome and other physical irregularities. For a business, all this injury prevention translates to reduced absenteeism and lower healthcare costs for the companies.

Apart from injury prevention, yoga also helps the workers to become more creative and efficient. Yoga is known to harmonize the two sides of our brain. The left side of our brain is known to correspond to logical thought and the right side to creative thought. A harmony between the two leads to more creative and fruitful decisions.

Yoga also improves flexibility and posture and helps infuse a general sense of well-being among its practitioners. Apart from injuries, coping with the work related stress is another big challenge for the employees. Different kinds of pressures are common to today’s work environment. Some of them include interpersonal conflict, stringent deadlines and other stresses. Since yoga relaxes our nerves and transforms depression and apathy by oxygenating our brain, workers are better able to cope with work related stress when practicing yoga. This again improves personal performance and helps increase overall productivity and efficiency.

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