Why you need Yoga in the workplace- 7 Studies

Updated: Oct 12, 2018



Yoga in the workplace is becoming increasingly the norm, with companies such as Forbes, Apple, Google, General Motors and Nike guiding the way in corporate wellness. But you may wonder why this is.


Figures in the Health and Safety Executive Annual Statistics Report for Great Britain, 2016/17 [1], showed 31.2 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health during the period. Alarmingly, 40% of new and long-standing cases were due to stress, depression or anxiety.


Can you afford to lose work days to work-related ill health?

Thankfully Yoga can help with this! Want proof? Read on...


● Two scientific papers in 2005 [2] found that yoga helps moderate reactions to and perceptions of stress, as well as significantly lifting depression. According to a 2007 study [3] on brain GABA levels and yoga, it also boosts the levels of the neurotransmitter GABA which both lifts mood and suppresses anxiety!


● The National Institute for Health Care Excellence (NICE) state ‘Overall, workplace physical activity counselling and fitness programmes were found to be cost effective. In addition, the introduction of a workplace physical fitness programme may be broadly beneficial to employers in that it can help reduce absenteeism.’ [4]


● A 2015 study published in Workplace Health and Safety [5] found that nurses who performed a weekly yoga session for eight weeks showed big reductions in the warning signs for burnout and increases in self-care and mindfulness.


● A 2012 British study published in Occupational Medicine [6] looked not only into Yoga and stress, but also back pain (another huge cause of absenteeism). It found ‘the yoga group scores were significantly lower for perceived stress, back pain, sadness and hostility, and substantially higher for feeling self-assured, attentive and serene’.


● A controlled study in the journal Ayu [7] of 160 workers at an engineering firm in India, yoga was shown to reduce hostility and aggression. Staff were split into to groups, with half studying and practicing Yoga for one hour daily, with the other half being given lectures in management theory and engaged in light exercise for the same amount of time. At the end of 10 weeks, the Yoga group had vastly improved scores for positivity and lowered scores for aggression and counterproductive work activities compared to the control group.


Now they are some seriously good reasons to do Yoga at work! Hopefully Yoga is already in your workplace, but if not, you've now got lots of scientific papers to back up your requests ;) If you're a geek like me and want the actual papers to read through then just email me.



[1] http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/

[2] https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Tobias_Esch/publication/7448779_Rapid_stress_reduction_and_anxiolysis_among_distressed_women_as_a_consequence_of_a_three-month_intensive_yoga_program/links/0c96051fe7c3fa4a4e000000/Rapid-stress-reduction-and-anxiolysis-among-distressed-women-as-a-consequence-of-a-three-month-intensive-yoga-program.pdf

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Patricia_Gerbarg/publication/7984597_Sudarshan_Kriya_Yogic_Breathing_in_the_Treatment_of_Stress_Anxiety_and_Depression_Part_I-Neurophysiologic_Model/links/00b7d529e8590347d2000000.pdf

[3] https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2007.6338?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori%3Arid%3Acrossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%3Dpubmed&

[4] https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph13/chapter/Introduction

[5] http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/2165079915596102?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori%3Arid%3Acrossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%3Dpubmed&

[6] https://academic.oup.com/occmed/article/62/8/606/1441276

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5041384/

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