Americas’ No. 1 Health Problem and Industry “Healthy employees make for a healthy company”
Recent national work related surveys have found 80% of workers feel stress on the job and half of those report their job as very or extremely stressful. One quarter of all workers view their jobs as the number one stress in their lives. All this employee stress is more strongly associated with health complaints than financial or family problems.
Consider what these occupational pressures are believed to cause the employee:
62% routinely find they end the workday with neck pain
44% reported stressed-out eyes
38% complained of hurting hands
34% reported difficulty sleeping because of stress
30% of workers suffering from back pain
28% complaining of “stress”
20% feeling fatigued
13% with headaches.
For our minds any stress can be too much, keeping us in a continual cycle of flight or fight. Invariably, an employee body carries the physical stresses of a host of perceived emotional threats from stressful work related issues. The manifestation of these repeated physical and emotional events can contribute to hypertension, strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, ulcers, neck or low back pain and many other “Diseases of Civilization”. The effects of long-term stress can increase the risk of debilitating diseases like depression; heart disease and a variety of other common illnesses like sleep disturbance and immune deficiency.
It has been estimated that nearly 80 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are the result of stress related problems. Work related stress is far and away the leading source of stress for most adults. Employees are not the only ones suffering. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that U.S. employers lose about $70 billion a year due to the absenteeism, lost productivity and disability caused by mental distress.
Job stress is very costly with the price tag for U.S. industry estimated at over $300 billion annually as a result of; accidents, absenteeism, employee turnover, and diminished productivity, direct medical, legal, or insurance costs. On top of these expenses industry has additional payouts associated with workers’ compensation awards, tort and FELA judgments.
According to a survey of 800,000 workers in over 300 companies, the number of employees calling in sick because of stress tripled from 1996 to 2000. An estimated 1 million workers are absent every day due to stress. 40% of job turnover is due to stress. To replace an employee today will cost a business on average between $3,000 and $13,000. Unanticipated absenteeism is estimated to cost American companies $602.00/worker/year and the price tag for large employers could approach $3.5 million annually. A 1997 three year study conducted by one large corporation found that 60% of employee absences could be traced to psychological problems that were due to job stress.
Surveys also indicate that 60 to 80% of all accidents on the job are stress related. A whole host of job related injuries are believed to be more severe because of stressful influence. For example repetitive musculoskeletal injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome have become the nations’ leading workplace health cost and account for almost a third of all Workers’ compensation awards. According to a recent 2008 survey, 14 million Americans, say that a doctor or therapist has recommended yoga to them. In addition, nearly half of all adults agree that yoga would be beneficial if they were undergoing treatment for a medical condition. Yoga is increasingly recommended by the medical community as new research shows yoga is a valuable therapeutic tool for many modern health conditions.
A rocky economy and soaring medical costs have actually forced many companies to reduce the amount of benefits they offer. Yoga sessions included as part of a corporate wellness program have proven to be a relatively inexpensive perk. Many businesses are able to bolster employees’ health and also make them feel like the company cares about them. A one-time corporate sponsored yoga session could cost a company as much as $10 an employee. The price tag of building an on-site fitness center with regular yoga classes could be upward of $1 million.
Nearly 50% of workers say they need help in learning how to manage stress and 42% say their coworkers need such help. These workers are hungry for a quick de-stressing or stretching technique that can be done at their desks without alarming their co-workers or during a short work break.
A corporate sponsored yoga program will help bottom line profits as a special money saving gift for the benefit of both its employees and stakeholders’
Yoga reduces the physical effects of stress on the body. By encouraging relaxation, yoga helps to lower the levels of stress hormones. Related benefits include lowering blood pressure and heart rate, improving digestion and boosting the immune system as well as easing symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, asthma and insomnia. Yoga series of postures accompanied with controlled breathing exercises have become a popular means of stress management and relaxation. The simple techniques of yoga will help alleviate discomfort by releasing tension and creating a peaceful mind.
Yoga restores your body’s natural energy, which will counter the physical effects of stress on the body. The yoga sequences’ ultimate goal is to introduce you to effective tool to enhance harmony in your physical, mental and emotional life. Yoga with its quiet, precise easy movements will draw attention away from your busy, chaotic day into a calming moment as you gently move your body through a series poses that require balance and concentration. At the end of a yoga session you feel invigorated, yet relaxed and calm.
Yoga is suitable for yoga beginners. It will be easy to follow along even if it is your first time. Yoga can help health conditions best when combined with treatment as recommended by your doctor. Even if you now experience good health, yoga can be an enjoyable addition to your regular exercise routine. A corporate sponsored yoga incentive can provide a low cost per employee illustrated do-it-yourself technique for a calmer, more peaceful attitude.
“They are calmer, they think better, they have better productivity and they are out of work less