Yoga has become synonymous with corporate wellness programmes; it seems that just about every major office in the world is investing in group classes taught by qualified instructors. But if you’re still wondering what yoga has to offer office workers, here are five of its major benefits:
1. Reduced stress
Employee stress is one of the biggest threats to success, which is why organisations all over the world take careful steps to mitigate it. Yoga has been on the spotlight for quite some time as one of those effective measures against stress. Perhaps it has to do with acceptance, which our post on 'Mindfulness in meditation and in everyday life' highlights as fundamental to mindfulness. Instead of succumbing to stress, modern professionals can apply mindfulness and respond to a situation with clarity of mind. Knowing how to deal with pressure is key to a more stress-free life, both in and out of the office.
2. Enhanced cognitive function
Science is finally catching up to what the wise gurus of ancient times taught — that yoga and meditation fuel the brain. In fact, the University of Waterloo found that a daily practice of 25 minutes can enhance one’s cognitive functions. Cognition includes one’s ability to think critically, retain information, and concentrate. These findings are significant for office workers who are surrounded by many distractions that can ultimately interfere with their cognitive abilities. As it turns out, yoga holds the key to focusing on the task at hand, which in turn, can lead to better work output and organisational success.
3. Improved overall health
Aside from mindfulness, improving one’s overall health and wellness has been the focus of yoga for workers. Physical health is of utmost importance, especially as it affects one’s ability to work or even show up to the office at all. This is even more crucial for people who sit on a desk day in and day out, as Pain Free Working highlighted that these people tend to have shorter life spans. A sedentary life increases the risk of illness, which is unsurprising given that physical activity is one of the keys to a long and healthy life. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to boost your fitness with yoga. All you really need is a mat, the right gear, and proper instruction, and you can begin building your cardiovascular health and strength slowly but surely.
4. Decreased back pain
Chronic back pain is one of the major conditions that office workers suffer from. Reports reveal that it's actually the leading cause of absenteeism in Europe and it even leads to early retirement. This means that back pain, due to the lack of exercise coupled with too much sitting on standard office chairs, is a real issue that needs to be addressed. Yoga has a long list of poses that can counter the pressure along the spine and the surrounding muscles. Even a few rounds of Cat-Cow daily can be life-changing for those who suffer from acute or chronic back pain. More importantly, yoga can increase your body awareness and encourage proper posture at all times.
5. Increased productivity
All in all, these can contribute to better workplace productivity. NBC News reports that yoga keeps you calm and alert, which are valuable traits to have in stressful environments such as the workplace or home offices. These are what make yoga an extremely valuable tool for office workers — it not only increases work satisfaction, but one’s overall quality of life as well.
Written by Alizee Ceryz
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