YOGA

A proven investment

In 2002, the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine published a report that found that a wellness programme at Coors Brewing Co. produced a return of $6.15 for every dollar invested in a yoga-based Employee Wellness Programme over a six-year period, while other marquee corporations reported returns of $3.40 to $5.80 on every dollar spent on like programs.

See 1/3 reduction in employees’ stress levels after one hour of yoga a week (Aetna/Duke University).

239 Aetna employee volunteers were randomized into a therapeutic yoga worksite stress reduction program, 1 of 2 mindfulness-based programs, or a control group that participated only in assessment. Compared with the control group, the mind-body interventions showed significantly greater improvements on perceived stress, sleep quality, and the heart rhythm coherence ratio of heart rate variability.

See http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2012-04383-001/ for the study

 

Impact of yoga way of life on organisational performance

2010 study showing that Yoga has a significant positive impact on job satisfaction, goal orientation, affective organisational commitment and organisational citizenship behavior

See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2997233/

 

Studies of the effects of Yoga on back pain by the US National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health (NCCIH):

A 2009 NCCIH-funded study of 90 people with chronic low-back pain found that participants who practiced Iyengar yoga had significantly less disability, pain, and depression after 6 months.

See Williams K, Abildso C, Steinberg L, et al. Evaluation of the effectiveness and efficacy of Iyengar yoga therapy on chronic low back pain. Spine. 2009;34(19):2066–2076.

In a 2011 study, also funded by NCCIH, researchers compared yoga with conventional stretching exercises or a self-care book in 228 adults with chronic low-back pain. The results showed that both yoga and stretching were more effective than a self-care book for improving function and reducing symptoms due to chronic low-back pain.

See Sherman KJ, Cherkin DC, Wellman RD, et al. A randomized trial comparing yoga, stretching, and a self-care book for chronic low back pain. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2011;171(22):2019–2026.

Conclusions from another 2011 study of 313 adults with chronic or recurring low-back pain suggested that 12 weekly yoga classes resulted in better function than usual medical care.

See Tilbrook HE, Cox H, Hewitt CE, et al. Yoga for chronic low back pain: a randomized trial. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2011;155(9):569–578.

 

The impact of Yoga & Breathing exercises on thinking, clarity & wellbeing

Ky Wright, one of the co-founders of Lick frozen yoghurt, recently moved the firm’s offices into a co-operative space in Brighton, where he takes part in yoga and breathing exercise classes with others from around the building. He says the impact it has on thinking, clarity and wellbeing can be “incredible”, and dramatically increases his own and his colleagues’ happiness.

 

OPTIMAL BREATHING (Breath awareness & enhancement)

In a 2013 study investigating the effect of doing pranayama [yogic breath awareness and enhancement techniques] on test anxiety and test performance among 107 MA university students, after practicing pranayama, only 33% of the participants of the experimental group experienced high test anxiety, while this percentage was nearly twice in the control group (66.7%).

See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3573544/ for the study.

 

WELLBEING PROGRAMMES – a good investment per se

In the US, a study by Towers Watson Wyatt and the National Business Group on Health shows that organisations with highly effective wellness programs report significantly lower voluntary attrition than do those whose programs have low effectiveness (9% vs. 15%).

On the other hand, an internal assessment by Johnson & Johnson found that the return on their wellness programs have been $2.71 for every dollar spent, resulting in cumulative savings of $250 million on health care costs for the company over the past decade.