Daily yoga in the workplace avoids back pain

Daily yoga in the workplace avoids back pain

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Doctors are studying the effects of yoga in the workplace

Back pain is common around the world. In the U.S. alone, about four in five people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. In the UK, back problems are even one of the most common reasons for visiting a doctor and staying away from work. But there is an easy way to prevent back pain: yoga.

In their current study, scientists at Bangor University found that yoga can significantly reduce back pain. Patients with chronic back pain also benefit from yoga exercises. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Occupational Medicine".

Yoga exercises can have a positive effect on back pain

Ancient Indian yoga programs include stretching, breathing, and relaxation methods that can reduce back pain and musculoskeletal disorders. A large number of studies have already identified the benefits of yoga for human health. Patients with chronic back pain who practice yoga regularly have fewer sick days per year compared to people who do not practice yoga. However, little has been thought about the benefits of workplace programs, the authors say.

Researchers examine 150 subjects

150 subjects from three hospitals in North Wales served as subjects for the study. Employees were randomly assigned to either a yoga group or an educational group. The yoga group received a total of eight 60-minute yoga sessions, which were attended once a week for a total of eight weeks. In addition, the yoga participants received a DVD for home practice. These subjects were asked to practice yoga at home for ten minutes every day for six months. The so-called educational group only received two instructional books on how to cope with back pain and reduce stress at the workplace.

How did the yoga classes go?

The yoga program used in the study was based on Dru Yoga. This form of yoga relies on soft, flowing movements. At the beginning of each session, there was a series of gentle warm-up exercises, followed by eight stretches to relieve tension from the shoulders and hips. Then the participants took on four special back positions to make the spine supple and improve posture. Afterwards, relaxation techniques were carried out to create a general feeling of positive health and well-being, the authors explain.

Effects of yoga exercises

After eight weeks, the scientists found that most yoga participants had a greater reduction in back pain compared to the educational group. After a total of six months, comparing the files of the NHS staff showed that the yoga participants were 20 times less sick than the participants in the educational group due to musculoskeletal disorders (including back pain). The yoga participants also visited a doctor for back pain only half as often within the six months.

Ten minutes of yoga with an enormous impact

The greatest improvements were achieved by participants who also practiced yoga at home for at least 60 minutes a week. Ten minutes of yoga a day already doubled the reduction in back pain. Many patients also said that the exercises also helped them manage stress.

Few employers in Europe offer yoga classes

In the United States, approximately a quarter of all major employers offer some form of meditation or yoga. Unfortunately, such workplace programs are very rare in Europe. The prevention of back pain makes economic sense and saves a lot of costs. So yoga is not only beneficial for employees, but also for the economy. (as)

Author and source information

Video: Easy Exercises: Avoiding Back Pain at the Workplace (August 2022).