Workplace Massage: More Than Just Loosening Tight Muscles
Mike McGinnes, RMT
In this day and age, most of us know the benefits of receiving regular massage; treating tight, overused muscles, aiding in recovery from injuries, etc. What you may be surprised to learn, is how far reaching the benefits of regular in-chair massage treatments on-site at work really are. By implementing a regular 15-minute chair massage program the decrease in stress and increase in overall productivity is quite significant.
In modern society, nearly half of our weekly waking hours are spent at the workplace. For many, the workplace provides for a very stressful environment. A 2010 Statistics Canada General Social Survey found slightly more than one in four Canadian workers deal with elevated levels of work stress, with 27 per cent of the workforce (or 3.7 million people) describing their professional day as "extremely" or "quite a bit" stressful. Long term exposure to stressors, such as workplace stress, usually presents itself in the form of physical or emotional health issues. Chronic stress can affect your brain, suppress your thyroid, cause blood sugar imbalances, decrease bone density and muscle tissue, raise blood pressure, reduce your immunity and increase fat deposits around your abdomen that are associated with heart attacks, strokes and elevated “bad” cholesterol. A 1992 article in the Financial Times claims a company in Ontario reported a 25 percent decrease in time off for work-related injuries, and a $200,000 decrease in compensation claims after it implemented a massage therapy program.
Although the greatest reported benefit of at work massage is the decrease in stress levels, it is not only limited to this.
Other benefits include:
- A decrease in anxiety and depression
- Increased energy, mental focus and alertness following the massage
- Improved quality of sleep
- Decreased risk of repetitive strain injuries
- Lowered blood pressure
- Improvement in overall office morale and job satisfaction
Many employers still struggle to see the potential of offering regular massage programs for their employees but the trend is catching on. Stress and workplace satisfaction play such a key role in our overall health and quality of life. A 15-minute massage can go a long way in bettering how we work and live.
Mike McGinnes is an award winning massage therapist, whose practice is focussed on deep tissue massage therapy. You can read more about Mike on his profile page.