Benefits + REsearch
The Benefits of Sustaining a workplace wellness program for your organization are Numerous — for both Employers and Employees — including:
Research shows the need and benefits:
Alleviate Stress, Anxiety, and Fatigue
Stress costs U.S. companies about $300 billion annually through absenteeism, diminished productivity, employee turnover anddirect medical, legal and insurance fees. (The American Institute for Stress)
Stress is the cause of nearly 90% of doctor visits in the U.S. (The American Institute for Stress)
Aetna, partnering with Duke University School of Medicine, found that one hour of yoga a week decreased stress levels in employees by a third, reducing health care costs by an average of $2,000 a year.
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index surveyed 94,000 workers across 14 major occupations in the U.S. Of the 77% of workers who fit the survey’s definition of having a chronic health condition (asthma, cancer, depression, diabetes, heart attack, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or obesity), the total annual costs related to lost productivity totaled $84 billion.
An Oxford University meta-analysis of nine randomized trials in Europe and North America (2016) found that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MCBT) was more effective at reducing relapses of depression (over a 60-week follow-up period) than maintenance antidepressant medication. Also, mindfulness therapy was found to be especially effective for people with more severe depressive symptoms.
In 2014, the Family Physicians Inquiries Network separately analyzed three systematic reviews of studies (spanning 2,000+ participants) on yoga’s effect on depression, anxiety and stress. The doctors found that across multiple RCTs, using varied yoga interventions and diverse study populations, yoga typically improved overall symptom scores for anxiety and depression by about 40%, both by itself and as an adjunctive treatment.
Depressive illness, a common side effect of job stress in employees, is associated with nearly 10 annual sick days.
The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that U.S. employers lose $70 billion a year due to absenteeism, lost productivity and disability caused by mental distress.
The National Safety Council reported that companies lose $2 - $3 in productivity for every dollar spent on direct employee medical costs.
Raise Job Satisfaction and Reduce Turnover
A CareerBuilder survey finds that 44% of employees say that they have gained weight in their present job.
Those claims were backed up by a Refresh Leadership poll that said the top three ways people said that their job affected their health were weight gain, neck/back pain, and reduced energy levels.
An EBRI study found that:
Reduce Health Risks
A 2016 study from Columbia University researchers, that tracked older people from 2005-2015 (80%-plus who were already diagnosed with osteoporosis or its precursor) analyzed (via X-rays) what 12 minutes of daily or near-daily yoga (12 assigned poses) would do over those ten years. The result: a reversal of bone loss, and improved bone density of the spine and femur.
A small UCLA study (2016) found that a weekly regime of yoga and meditation could forestall age-related mental decline. They tested older adults with early memory issues: one group did a well-established brain-training program (with classroom time and mental exercises), while the other did Kundalini yoga and Kirtan Kriya meditation (involving repeating a mantra and repetitive hand movements). Yoga and meditation topped the benefits of 12 weeks of brain training for improving
A randomized clinical trial (year 2016 - 342 adults) from University of Washington, Seattle researchers found that Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (8 weeks of once-a-week training in mindfulness meditation and yoga) resulted in significantly greater improvement in back pain and functional limitations at 26 weeks than usual care (prescription opioids, etc.). 44% of participants doing the meditation/yoga training reported meaningful pain reduction versus the 27% of those undergoing usual care/prescription painkillers, etc.
A University of Virginia systematic review of 25 clinical trials concluded that yoga may improve risk indices for patients with type 2 diabetes, including: glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, lipid profiles, blood pressure, oxidative stress, coagulation profiles and pulmonary function. Further, yoga may hold promise for preventing cardiovascular complications within this population.