Disease Proof

Yoga and Meditation at Work Helps Reduce Stress

I love Yoga! I practice twice a week. So this is awesome. Findings in the journal Health Education & Behavior reveal doing a little yoga and meditation everyday during lunch can help people reduce stress at work.

Participants attended one-hour weekly group meetings during lunch and practiced 20 minutes of meditation and yoga per day at their desks. After six weeks, program participants reported that they were more aware of external stressors, they felt less stressed by life events, and they fell asleep more easily than did a control group that did not experience the intervention.

“Because chronic stress is associated with chronic disease, I am focusing on how to reduce stress before it has a chance to contribute to disease,” said Maryanna Klatt, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of clinical allied medicine at Ohio State.

“My interest is to see whether or not we can get people to reduce their health care utilization because they’re less stressed. I want to deliver something low cost at the work site, something practical that can be sustained, that can help reduce health care costs,” Klatt said.

It’s weird for me though. If I’m too stressed I can’t do Yoga. I can’t focus. But I better find a way to chill out, because Dr. Fuhrman insists reducing negative stress is an important of a long healthy life. My bad!

Via Newswise.

Image credit: BrittneyBush

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Comments (8) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
sharon shaw - August 6, 2009 2:46 AM

Many people report that when practicing yoga regularly it leads to craving healthy food choices over less desirable ones...There's no place like ommmmmmmm....

Kara - August 6, 2009 10:43 AM

This is awesome! I attend a yoga class in my office building twice a week during lunch. I look forward to my little break in the day.

Paul - August 7, 2009 4:19 PM

Although yoga can have its benifits, it also has a downside. The illustration above shows the "wheel" posture which involves hyperextension of the lumbar joint and can result in permanant injury to the lower spine. Other yoga asana's can stretch the ligaments beyond their healthy range and result in knee injuries for expample. Be careful and only do yoga exercises which are approved by a qualified kinesiologist.

Claudia - August 7, 2009 11:09 PM

My husband is a Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation doctor, and he says that there is no "lumbar joint", rather there are 5 lumbar vertebrae or bones, and each of these has 2 facet joints. So, he says that there are actually 10 lumbar joints, although even this is a bit over-simplified.

Anyway.... the postural alignment of the wheel pose as displayed here is not optimal, but could be corrected so that the possibility of stress or injury to the lower back would be avoided. The shoulders need to be more open, with more focus on bending the upper back. Also, allowing the knees to come this far apart means there is an 'outer spiral' going on that is putting more pressure on the lower back. Here is a picture of a better 'wheel', which looks a lot more comfortable and balanced: http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/175

Compared to the picture in the link, you can tell that the person in the picture above really looks like she is collapsing into her lower back and causing stress there. The flow of energy looks like it is kind of unbalanced in the direction of the knees, while the yoga journal picture looks very symmetrical and balanced between the knees and chest. What I mean is that there seems to be balanced action from one end of the body to the other, whereas, the person in the picture above looks like they are out of balance and struggling hard.

My husband summarizes it like this: If the posture is done in a more balanced and symmetrical fashion, the energy and curve of the bend is distributed equally among 10 or more low back joints, and there is virtually no chance of injury to the spine.

Claudia

Steve - August 9, 2009 10:06 AM

Hi Gerry
I guess putting a picture of someone doing a tree or chair pose wouldn't have the same visual impact as the picture you chose.

Good lesson there though. Make sure you're thinking more about the process (ie sensibly stretching or strengthening something), rather than getting to a particular position for style points.

Cheers, Steve

Niyati - September 15, 2009 9:01 AM

I read your Whole article and liked it very much. I think every people must do yoga today to reduce stress of work place.

Chemist - December 31, 2009 8:13 AM

I think it's a combination of feeling lighter mentally, as well as feeling comfortably stretched out and straighter. I'm more aware of both my posture and my surroundings.

Jack - January 22, 2010 7:06 AM

Yes, Yoga reduce stress and make your body inner strong so just do and do yoga and become fit and fight.

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