Reasons You Should Invest in Yoga for Employees


stressed employeeWould you believe me if I tell you that, companies lose more money due to lack of employee productivity than due to any other factors? Do you know that 71% of US workers consider their workplace a significant source of stress? And almost 51% of Americans believe that job stress is the biggest contributor of loss of productivity.[1]

It may sound strange, but a recent survey conducted by Academic and Business Research Institute revealed that people in US are so stressed that almost 79% have accepted it as a part and fact of their work lives.[2] Doesn’t sound too fair, right?

The stats clearly show that, stress might be the next epidemic. Giving out so much control to stress is wrong. But, this is what is happening people!

And companies, even after compensating for all kinds of medical issues and vacations, are still bleeding lots of money just because their employees are stressed. It’s a chain reaction, you see.

Running short on time? Read this “15 second” infographic!

Stress – The New Epidemic

Stress manifests itself in many forms which we can segregate under three heads:

  1. 48% of all people surveyed reported lack of sleep or wakefulness
  2. 43% fell under irregular appetite, meaning either loss of appetite or stressful binge.
  3. Majority, almost 77% reported constant headache and body aches

Too much of stats, eh?

What the Employer loses

An employee under stress suffers from a reduced attention span and working memory, due to deteriorating health, and is ultimately left frustrated. This affects not only his relationships but his energy levels also.

Now, let’s look at how a stressed employee affects his/her employer:

  1. Loss in productivity
  2. Decrease in motivation
  3. Reduced job satisfaction
  4. Increased absenteeism
  5. Higher number of bad decisions

What an Organization loses

money in drainThe effect, as we know, finally trickles down, manifold, on the organization. It’s either in form of lower profits or higher cost per employee. Another study found out that health-related work losses, on an estimate, cost US employers more than $260 billion each year. And I am not adding to your worry but, this is excluding the direct medical compensation.

When a company, on average, spends almost  $29.18 per hour on each of its employee, losing this huge sum over work stress, does not sound intelligent.[3]

 

So, how do we break this cycle?

It may sound repetitive though, but Yoga IS THE ANSWER. Let’s see how a yogic intervention can help you increase profits by making your employees more productive. Did I mention the results are pretty quick too?!

1. Lack of sleep or wakefulness

wide child pose50-70 million US adults report difficulty falling asleep or nocturnal awakenings.[4]

How Yoga helps turn insomnia to fresh energy:

Participants of Bikram Yoga report decrease in nocturnal awakenings and feeling of freshness in the morning. This is when they are compared to the non yoga group after only a 14 day practice.[5]

2. Irregular appetite

35% US adults are obese and, about 70% suffer from lifestyle induced metabolic disorders.[6]

How Yoga helps restore balance:

With only little lifestyle modification, people can regulate their appetite as well as emotional distress.

This was observed after a regular practice of six months, where scientists found that, yoga balanced the metabolic system (Basal Metabolic Rate reduced to by 13%) with its stimulatory and inhibitory practices.[7]

3. Headache and body aches

90% of US citizens suffer from one or other kind of headache or body ache.[8]

How Yoga helps relax:

Therapeutic and relaxing practices of yoga also include Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). A study in this context reported 31% decrease in medical symptoms and psychological distress, while another 17% decrease in ‘daily hassles’.[9]

How many days of Yoga?

yoga_splash
You hit the cause, you solve the problem.

Besides, if you have followed our posts, you already know that exercising, especially ones like yoga, gives you more energy.

1 session can maintain metabolism for up to 48 hours. This implies, 3 days a week is enough to keep you fresh and brimming with energy all through the week.[10]

Final question: How many hours of yoga does one need?

A couch potato study found out that having a desk job (sedentary lifestyle) is equivalent to smoking. A 52% higher risk of heart failure![11]

According to scientists, 150 mins of physical activity per week is sufficient to keep one’s heart healthy. When split it into 3 days a week, it gives you 50 mins of yoga, every alternate day.

Simple, right?!

This brings us to results

  1. After a 20-minute session of Hatha yoga, participants’ speed and accuracy was tested for brain’s ability to maintain focus and take in, retain and use new information. A significant improvement was found in brain function.[12] Memory, attention, cognition – check!
  2. When participants chanted Om for just 10 minutes, a synergistic effect was observed on the vital systems i.e. heartbeat, breathing, brain waves, etc. along with reduction in stress indicators.[13] Frustration – gone!
  3. After a year-long practice of Iyengar yoga for 90 minutes weekly, participants reported significant reduction in negative attitude and mood swings. The study also found backbends are more effective than rest.[14] Positive attitude – done!
  4. A group of healthy, untrained volunteers when practiced yoga for around a year (2-3 times a week for an hour) reported improved muscle strength, flexibility, and stamina.[15] Finally, health and energy – skyrocketed!

Reminding you once again, health-related work losses cost US employers more than $260 billion each year. So, you can see how much you’ll save with little investment in a yoga session at office.

And you do realize, dollars saved are dollars earned. Don’t you?!

Also Read: 7 Symptoms of Stress You May Have Missed

References

[1] Harris Interactive Inc., Public Affairs and Policy. Stress in America Atlanta Report (pdf). The American Psychological Association. ^Back to Top^

[2] Mason Fries. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for the Changing Work (pdf). Environment Journal of Academic and Business Ethics. National University. ^Back to Top^

[3] Mitchell RJ, Bates P. Measuring health-related productivity loss. Popul Health Manag. 2011 Apr;14(2):93-8. doi: 10.1089/pop.2010.0014. Epub 2010 Nov 23. PubMed PMID: 21091370; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3128441. ^Back to Top^

[4] Wallace DM, Ramos AR, Rundek T. Sleep disorders and stroke. Int J Stroke. 2012 Apr;7(3):231-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-4949.2011.00760.x. Epub 2012 Feb 15. Review. PubMed PMID: 22336145; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3387919. ^Back to Top^

[5] Kudesia RS, Bianchi MT. Decreased nocturnal awakenings in young adults performing bikram yoga: a low-constraint home sleep monitoring study. ISRN Neurol. 2012;2012:153745. doi: 10.5402/2012/153745. Epub 2012 Apr 12. PubMed PMID: 22577578; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3345216. ^Back to Top^

[6] Obesity Information - Heart.org. ^Back to Top^

[7] Chaya MS, Kurpad AV, Nagendra HR, Nagarathna R. The effect of long term combined yoga practice on the basal metabolic rate of healthy adults. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2006 Aug 31;6:28. PubMed PMID: 16945127; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1564415. ^Back to Top^

[8] Headaches - University of Minnesota. ^Back to Top^

[9] Shian-Ling Keng, Moria J. Smoski, Clive J. Robins. Effects of mindfulness on psychological health: A review of empirical studies. Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, United States. DDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, United States http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2011.04.006. ^Back to Top^

[10] Ray US, Sinha B, Tomer OS, Pathak A, Dasgupta T, Selvamurthy W. Aerobic capacity & perceived exertion after practice of Hatha yogic exercises. Indian J Med Res. 2001 Dec;114:215-21. PubMed PMID: 1204076. ^Back to Top^

[11] Young DR, Reynolds K, Sidell M, Brar S, Ghai NR, Sternfeld B, Jacobsen SJ, Slezak JM, Caan B, Quinn VP. Effects of physical activity and sedentary time on the risk of heart failure. Circ Heart Fail. 2014 Jan;7(1):21-7. doi: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.113.000529. PubMed PMID: 24449810. ^Back to Top^

[12] Gothe N, Pontefex MB, Hillman C, McAuley E. The Acute Effects of Yoga on Executive Function. Journal of Physical Activity & Health. ^Back to Top^

[13] Ajay Anil Gurjar , Siddharth A. Ladhake, Ajay P. Thakare. Analysis Of Acoustic of “OM” Chant To Study It’s Effect on Nervous System (pdf). Sipna’s College of Engineering & Technology, Amravati (Maharashtra), India. ^Back to Top^

[14] David Shapiro, Karen Cline. Mood Changes Associated with Iyengar Yoga Practices: A Pilot Study (pdf). International Journal of Yoga Therapy. ^Back to Top^

[15] Ray US, Mukhopadhyaya S, Purkayastha SS, Asnani V, Tomer OS, Prashad R, Thakur L, Selvamurthy W. Effect of yogic exercises on physical and mental health of young fellowship course trainees. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2001 Jan;45(1):37-53. PubMed PMID: 11211570. ^Back to Top^

Last Updated: July 18th, 2014

Next Scheduled Update: Sept 18th, 2014

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