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A 15-minute workplace yoga class that includes guided meditation can reduce stress, according to researchers from the Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation at Bangor University in the U.K. Workers who aren’t stressed-out have greater job satisfaction and greater rates of productivity.
Workers who report normal stress levels are “better” workers than those who report feeling highly stressed. These less stressed employees:
- rank higher on psychological well-being scales
- have higher productivity
- are healthier and miss fewer days of work
- are more cost-effective
That’s why reducing stress in the workplace with yoga and guided meditation is a win-win for everyone.
What Is Seated Workplace Yoga?
Have you ever done yoga while sitting in your office chair? If you’ve ever rolled your neck or grabbed the back of your chair to facilitate a gentle twist to relieve mental and muscular tension, you’ve done seated workplace yoga.
You don’t need to wear trendy yoga pants or worry about sweating. Just relax, breathe, and blissfully follow your instructor through a series of gentle, but effective, movements.
What Is Guided Meditation?
Have you ever daydreamed at work? Maybe you’ve imagined yourself relaxing at the beach or on your boat fishing and all your preoccupying thoughts drift away for a moment. This is very similar to guided meditation.
During a guided meditation session, you close your eyes and listen to the speaker. Your guide is likely to ask you to:
- Close your eyes
- Take deep breaths
- Relax specific parts of your body
- Imagine you are in another place
Workplace Yoga Participants Have Positive Outcomes
Many employees, just like you, who participate in workplace wellness programs consisting of yoga and meditation have positive outcomes. They report a variety of physical and psychological benefits that can increase their quality of life, including job satisfaction and productivity.
After completing an 8-week workplace yoga intervention, according to a study in Occupational Medicine, the participants, in comparison to their co-workers who didn’t do yoga, reported:
- Substantial improvement in psychological well-being
- Substantially higher feelings of being attentive, self-assured and serene
- Significant reduction in stress and back pain
- Significantly less sadness and hostility
Yoga references for Workplace Yoga and Guided Meditation Enhance Job Satisfaction and Productivity
1) Cheema, B. S., et al. (2013). Effect of an office worksite-based yoga program on heart rate variability: Outcomes of a randomized controlled trial. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 13(1), 82. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-82
2) Hartfiel, N., et al. (2012). Yoga for reducing perceived stress and back pain at work. Occupational Medicine, 62(8), 606-612. doi:10.1093/occmed/kqs168
3) Wolever, R. Q., et al. (2012). Effective and viable mind-body stress reduction in the workplace: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 17(2), 246-258. doi:10.1037/a0027278
Photo credit: Alan Clark