New research suggests that as little as 20 minutes of workplace meditation and yoga can lower the level of stress and contribute to greater productivity and better work performance.
Researchers from Ohio State University arrived at this conclusion after using a modified version of the so-called mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), originally developed in 1979 to help hospital patients in Massachusetts assist in their own healing.
Participants in the study attended one-hour weekly group meetings held during lunchtime and practiced 20 minutes of meditation and yoga per day at their desks. After six weeks, they reported greater awareness of external stressors, felt lower stress levels and fell asleep more easily, compared to the control group.
Maryanna Klatt, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of clinical medicine at Ohio State, says many studies have linked persistent stress to chronic disease so she decided to focus on how to reduce stress before it has a chance to contribute to health issues.
She further explains that this natural approach may benefit businesses and the healthcare system as it can help employees avoid missing work days due to illness and reduce doctor’s visits, thus lowering overall healthcare costs.