Yoga at the Office for Mental Health Awareness Month
The office isn’t the first place most consider as an environment for yoga or exercise. Still, it is becoming increasingly part of the culture for those who reap the benefits. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and many companies, including LMS, are formally recognizing the importance of this initiative.
Whether you work on location or at home, chances are you face occasional stress or fatigue. Both states negatively affect performance, whether you realize it or not. To compound the situation, sitting or standing in a position that becomes uncomfortable throughout the day affects your mental and physical well-being.
Desk Yoga at GEM for Mental Health Awareness
At GEM today, our Human Resources team begins hosting weekly sessions for Mental Health Awareness Month each Tuesday. Desk yoga is first on the list.
The workout includes neck rolls and stretches from the shoulders to the fingers. Extending the core, deep breathing, and leg exercises also come into play. By the end of ten minutes, you’ve stretched from head to toe while remaining in your seat. Finish with a few deep breaths to clear the mind and soul, and you’re better than you were ten minutes before.
A study by the Oxford Academic Occupational Medicine cited desk yoga for “significant reductions in perceived stress and back pain and a substantial improvement in psychological well-being.”
The study referred to a British government agency that conducted a study group of 74 participants. They randomly selected 37 to participate in an office yoga group for eight weeks. Meanwhile, the other 37 participated in no yoga activities at all.
The yoga group received one 50-minute Dru Yoga session each week for eight weeks and used a 20-minute digital instructional workout at home. As a baseline progress marker at the study’s end, the Perceived Stress Scale assessed stress, back pain, and psychological well-being measurements.
The yoga group reported significantly lower feelings of stress, back pain, sadness, and hostility. In addition, they felt substantially more self-assured, attentive, and serene.
Moving and Talking for Wellness
Brief workouts for physical and mental benefits, done regularly, develop excellent habits for long-range health. Options for workouts at the office abound. Taking occasional walks work well, especially outdoors for a fresh perspective.
Lastly, one of the best benefits for your mental health is talking to someone about anything – even the weather or your weekend. Work can be intense, and everyone needs a break now and then. Positive reinforcement and physical movement go a long way. You should enjoy the challenge of your job and look forward to it each day to complete the entire picture.
At GEM and LMS, our culture supports well-being at the individual level fostering a synergetic workplace for the benefit of everyone’s mental health.