Everyone Profits from Workplace Massage
According to a survey of 800,000 workers in over 300 companies, the number of employees calling in sick because of stress tripled between 1996 to 2000. An estimated 1 million workers are absent every day due to stress. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work reported that over half of the 550 million working days lost annually in the U.S. from absenteeism are stress related and that one in five of all last-minute no-shows are due to job stress. With an increase of absenteeism, work-related injuries, and work-induced anxiety and depression, it is no wonder that more companies are turning to massage therapy as a means of helping their employees manage this ever-increasing health crisis.
Many research studies support that massage in the workplace has shown a decrease in work-related injuries, an increase in productivity and morale, while also offering a cost-effective benefit that conveys that the company really cares about their biggest assets – their staff.
In a study performed by the American Stress Institute (The 2000 Integra Study) 62% of participants routinely found that they end the day with work-related neck pain, 44% reported stressed-out eyes, 38% complained of hurting hands and 34% reported difficulty in sleeping because they were too stressed-out. One reason is that repetitive work activities like working at a computer can cause lack of circulation in joints like the wrist, back or neck, causing pain over time. Tight muscles increase the pressure in joints and cause friction and wear and tear. Stress affects the serotonin levels that keep you awake and moving during the day and overrides the melatonin hormone that helps you fall asleep at night.
The good news is that there is a solution that helps you, the employee and the company – by bringing massage to the workplace, it can help improve circulation, loosen muscles and improve energy and mental outlook, which in turn helps productivity and gives you, the employee, more sense of control and a welcomed break from the demands on the job. It can be an affordable way to reduce time off from work due to injuries, depression or anxiety. By decreasing worker’s comp claims, a company is better poised to give raises and more employee benefits.
Also, with workplace violence on the rise, it makes sense for companies to invest in ways to help their staff decompress and assist them in stress management. For many people, massage at work is their first introduction to massage therapy. This can lead to a new discovery of pain and stress management that can lead to a lifetime of health and wellness that may not have ever taken place if it were not for their employer. Everyone profits from massage. A happy employee makes for happy customers and a healthy employee makes for healthy work and home life.
Sandy Saldano, Lic. Massage Therapist
Owner of Therapeutic Kneads, Ltd.