Improving wellbeing and resilience to stress in the workplace

Improving well-being and resilience to stress are key issues facing many organizations (Sparks et al 2001). According to Fuller (2010), 97% of senior human resources professionals believe stress is the biggest threat to the future health of the workforce.

 

There is also a growing trend toward long-term absences of >20days, due in large part to psychosocial factors such as stress, anxiety, and depression  (CBI 2010).

 

Recent evidence has shown that workplace programs of physical activity have a positive effect on employees (NICE 2008). This positive effect extends to workplace activity programs that include yoga involving physical postures, breathing exercises, and relaxation (Mohan 2006; Granath et al 2006; Gura 2002; Heilbronn 1992)

 

A recently conducted study randomised patients to either wait list control groups, or yoga intervention. The large trial concluded, in support of existing evidence, that even a short program of yoga is effective for enhancing emotional wellbeing and resilience to stress in the workplace. The authors suggested that employers should consider offering yoga classes to their employees (Hartfiel et al 2011).

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References:

 

1.       Sparks K, Faragher B, Cooper CL. Well-being and occupational health in the 21st century workplace. J Occup Organ Psychol. 2001;74(4):489–509.

2.       Fuller G. HR fears for employee health as stress grips nation. Personnel Today [Internet]. 12 September 2006 [cited 31 March 2010]. Available from: www.personneltoday.com/

3.       Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Workplace absence rises amid concerns over long-term sickness – CBI-AXA Survey [news release, Internet]. London: CBI; 2007 [cited 31 March 2010]. Available from: http://www.cbi.org. uk/ndbs/press.nsf/0363c1f07c6ca12a8025671c00381cc7/  032fea0526c09df802572b3003ea789?OpenDocument

4.        National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). Workplace health promotion: how to encourage employees to be physically active. London: NICE; 2008. NICE Public Health Guidance 13. Mohan G. Exploring yoga as therapy. Int J Yoga Ther. 2006;16:13–9.  Granath J, Ingvarsson S, Von Thiele U, Lundberg U. Stress management: a randomized  study of cognitive behavioural therapy and yoga. Cogn Behav Ther. 2006;35(1):3–10.

5.        Gura ST. Yoga for stress reduction and injury prevention at work. Work. 2002;19(1):3–7.

6.        Heilbronn F. The use of hatha yoga as a strategy for coping with stress in management development. Manag Educ Dev.1992;23(2):131–9.

7.       Hartfiel, Ned, et al. "The effectiveness of yoga for the improvement of well-being and resilience to stress in the workplace." Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health 37.1 (2011): 70-76.