The workplace can be an unhealthy place. For many in the corporate world, the average workweek consists of endless hours, meetings all morning (and meetings most of the afternoon), deadlines, stress, day-long deskbound inactivity and fast food lunches.
And it all adds up to the ultimate negative equation. According to the American Institute of Stress, more than a quarter of all U.S. workers said they’re burned out at work, while nearly two-thirds complain of regular neck and back pain.
Workplace wellness administrators started to look at some creative ways to counteract the constant stress associated with 40, 50, even 60-hour weeks.
How would the ultimate ancient wellness and stress management program – yoga – fare in a present-day office environment? This interesting clash of styles had to have a winner. And as you’ve probably heard before, never bet against ageless wisdom.
Yoga’s Recent Resurgence
Yoga has been around literally forever – its roots date to the prehistorical Indian subcontinent and other Asian cultures – but gained worldwide acceptance during the 1980s. After a brief lull in popularity, yoga has once again ascended to the pinnacle of health and wellness world.
Nowadays, yoga is as popular as it’s ever been. A few years back, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 21st as the “International Day of Yoga.”
How Yoga Transformed a Biotech Company’s Culture – and Overall Wellness
The biotech industry is one business sector notorious for super-long hours; after all, major advancements in healthcare and science don’t come without some back spasms, missed sleep and high-stress meetings along the way. One Wisconsin biotech firm, the Promega Corporation in Madison, decided to give their employees access to health and wellness initiatives, including yoga.
The results were nothing less than spectacular. As it turned out, regular yoga classes (paid for by Promega, and provided on the company clock) boosted productivity and overall employee happiness.
Pennsylvania firm World Electronics offers employees after-work classes, which have been a principal part of their wellness program. In fact, yoga has become so prominent at World Electronics that some workers have signed up for early morning yoga sessions. Just some of yoga’s benefits mentioned by World Electronics employees include greater flexibility and much-needed motivation.
Promega and World Electronics certainly aren’t the only company to reap the benefits from more Downward Facing Dog poses and less Head Faced Down in a Cubicle postures. According to a major study on corporate wellness programs, yoga programs are now being deployed by large and medium-sized firms all over the United States as part of an effort to combat the considerable impact of mental distress at the workplace. By some estimates, about $70 billion is lost annually by U.S. employers from absenteeism and lost hours due to excessive stress.
Yoga’s prominence in workplace wellness programs parallels an overall rise in yoga studios across the country. Because so many workers want to enjoy the benefits of yoga after work hours and on the weekend, studios such as Yoga Six are thriving. Yoga Six currently has studios in six different cities, and plans to expand soon.
From workplace sessions to exciting new studios all over the United States, it’s safe to say yoga has never been more widely accepted, promoted and practiced. And for stress management and overall health – both in and out of the office – that’s great news!
Has your company implemented any yoga or stress reduction techniques? Do you practice yoga in the office to alleviate the workday blues? Let us know in the feedback section! Thanks for stopping by the InnovativeCompany.co blog.