How Office Yoga can improve the longevity of office workers
By Kerianna Krebushevsky, Office Yoga Teacher Trainee
Did you know that people spend more time working today then sleeping? In today’s modern world we constantly want to be ahead of the game. There is so much competition, overstimulation, and the desire for more, bigger, and better. As a result, we are seeing higher levels of stress and stress-related illness.
Did you know, “Emotional stress is a major contributing factor to the six leading causes of death in the United States: cancer, coronary heart disease, accidental injuries, respiratory disorders, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide”? Or that “The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States estimates that stress accounts for about 75% of all doctors visit. This involves an extremely wide span of physical complaints including, but not limited to headache, back pain, heart problems, upset stomach, stomach ulcer, sleep problems, tiredness and accidents. According to Occupational Health and Safety news and the National Council on compensation of insurance, up to 90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related complaints.” (Malaysian Journal of Medical Science)
Cortisol is the main contributing hormone to chronic stress, as opposed to acute stress, which comes and goes in response to a threat. Think adrenaline in your fight or flight response. Cortisol stays circulating through your body when your stress levels are constant and do not return to normal (in fight or flight, once the threat is gone, adrenaline returns to normal levels). According to Mayo Clinic, constant exposure to cortisol and other stress hormones can disrupt almost all of your body’s processes, causing anxiety, depression, digestive problems, headaches, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain, memory and concentration impairment.
So what are we to do to stay healthy, but still keep up with the fast paced working world? How can we make the time we are spending at work more productive, efficient, and streamlined? While at the same time saving money on insurance, guaranteeing less absenteeism from our coworkers and employees, and keeping those coworkers and employees regularly motivated and engaged? How about taking a half hour to an hour out of your day, maybe twice a week, to gather together, quiet down the mind, and move your body? Office Yoga provides the perfect solution to chronic stress that causes all of these issues.
By dedicating just a little time out of your day to moving and focusing your brain on the mind/ body/ breath connection, you get the fluids in your body moving. This allows more oxygen to circulate through your system, especially to the brain. It allows your body to more efficiently remove waste and detoxify the body so you don’t feel clogged, bloated, and foggy. Most importantly it allows you body to regulate its stress hormones, such as cortisol. Yoga, breath work, and meditation are known to relieve stress and improve quality of life. It is the best investment you can make.