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Office Massage: Benefits of Massage for Office Workers

Question:

We recently completed a company-wide survey on the workplace environment, and a number of my employees requested that we have corporate massage available in the workplace. I talked to some colleagues, and apparently this is a trend, but I’m still not completely on board. What are the benefits of office massage, both for my employees and for the company as a whole?

Answer:

Office massage programs offer extensive benefits to your employees as well as to the company as a whole. Office workers typically spend most of their day sitting, which can result in back and neck pain, as well as pain in their upper extremities. Injuries resulting from this pain and stress can result in decreased productivity and lost work time, which costs the company as well as the employee. Your employees also may find these injuries limit their ability to participate in other everyday activities.[1]

Office massage sessions typically are non-intrusive. Employees can schedule sessions on lunch breaks. The massage therapist will set up a chair and give chair massages to employees lasting 15 or perhaps 20 minutes, so they still have time to eat. Depending on the size of your staff, you may want to book multiple therapists. You could also have a therapist available several days during the week for employees to sign up in advance. Before choosing a massage therapist, it’s a good idea to gauge interest with your employees and find out how many people would actually be interested in participating. Then multiply that number by at least 1.5 to account for people who will only decide to do it after they see others doing it.

You may think the relaxation of a massage would lower your productivity in the afternoon, but the opposite has actually proven true. Physical relaxation releases the brain, increasing productivity and even helping to spark creative ideas.[2]

The American Institute of Stress estimates that workplace stress costs the nation more than $300 billion a year in health care and missed work. Massage therapy is scientifically proven to reduce stress, decrease muscle tension, and lower anxiety levels.[3] The benefits to your employees of receiving a massage may be self-evident. As an employer, you also benefit in the form of lower turnover, less absenteeism, lower healthcare costs, and improved morale.[4] Seen this way, offering massage therapy at work is a win-win.

In case you needed another reason to institute an office massage program in your workplace, consider the political benefit. Such a program demonstrates your commitment to your employees’ health and well-being.[5] More than that, since employees requested the program in a company survey, it shows that you actually read your employees’ comments and respond to them.

References:

[1] Registered Massage Therapists’ Association of Ontario: “Massage Therapy in the Workplace,” https://secure.rmtao.com/Massage_Therapy/the_benefits_of_mt/massage_therapy_in_the_workplace.htm

[2] Forbes: “5 Reasons Executives Should Schedule a Massage Today,” https://www.forbes.com/sites/raquelbaldelomar/2016/04/01/5-reasons-executives-should-schedule-a-massage-today/#437ef4093b15

[3] Institute for Integrative Healthcare: “Bringing Massage Therapy into the Workplace,” https://www.integrativehealthcare.org/mt/archives/2011/07/bringing_massag.html

[4] Id.

[5] Id.

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