The average American work day consists of nine “high stress” hours in a fast paced work environment. Meeting a deadline, balancing conference calls, and a large amount of time spent staring at a computer screen has become the norm. This new norm can negatively impact both your physical health and your mental health.
Yoga and Meditation in the Work Place
Companies such as Apple, Yahoo!, Green Mountain Coffee, Nike and Google have all begun offering yoga and meditation at their headquarters, in an attempt to help improve mindfulness and employee well-being.
In a new study of more than 85,000 adults, yoga practice among U.S. workers nearly doubled from 2002 to 2012, from 6% to 11%. Meditation rates also increased, from 8% to 9.9%. Our finding of high and increasing rates of exposure to mindfulness practices among U.S. workers is encouraging,” they wrote in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) journal Preventing Chronic Disease.
“Approximately 2 in 7 workers report engagement in some form of mindfulness-based activity, and these individuals can bring awareness of the benefit of such practices into the workplace.”
Decreasing Workplace Stress
Yoga and meditation, though relatively recent in popularity, strives to help connect the body and the mind. It attempts to quiet the constant barrage of thoughts running through our minds and ultimately make us become more present. Being “present” was definitely the buzz word of 2018, but it can help you in avoiding unnecessary distractions while at work, maximizing your efficiency and improving your decision making skills.
A study conducted at the University of Illinois revealed that a simple 20 minute yoga or meditation session could improve concentration, memory capacities, motivation, and productivity.
So whether it’s with the practice of yoga or meditation, companies are investing in the notion that decreasing stress will reduce employee absences, improve their overall health thus lowering health care costs and improve employee relations and morale.
About WakeMed Corporate & Community Health
The Corporate and Community Health division of WakeMed provides worksite wellness and health promotion services to numerous corporate and community clients throughout Wake County. The department is made up of a multi-disciplinary team who perform preventative health screenings, education and coaching upon request. The department assists thousands of people each year on their wellness journey.