Yoga may reduce work-related stress

·1-min read

Practising yoga can help reduce work-related stress, according to an analysis of studies conducted among healthcare staff.

The physical, mental, and spiritual exercises or disciplines that originated in ancient India are now practised by hundreds of millions of people across the world.

And experts now believe that in addition to making you healthier, yoga, as well as other techniques like massage therapy can have a major effect on stress at work.

The analysis, published in the Journal of Occupational Health, included 15 randomised clinical trials with a total of 688 healthcare workers taking part in yoga, massage therapy, progressive muscle relaxation, and stretching as a way of reducing stress at work.

Overall, only yoga and massage therapy significantly reduced measures of occupational stress compared with no intervention, with more detailed analyses indicating that yoga is the best method.

"Work-related stress has been linked with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and other serious causes of morbidity," lead author Dr. Michael Zhang said. "Our results suggest that physical relaxation methods are helpful in reducing occupational stress.

"Yoga is particularly effective and can be delivered virtually, making it convenient for employers to offer distance options to promote worker health."

Although starting a course of yoga may be daunting for some, beginners are recommended to take up Hatha yoga, as this form is all about the basics and slower movements that require you to hold each pose for a few breaths - unlike more expert options which may provide more of an intense workout.

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