Obviously, we think that massage is a great cure-all, and it’s obvious that getting a relaxing massage in your lunch break will do you far more good than just working through lunch (admit it, we all know you do it).
A survey in Canada looked at the ways massage could help stressed care workers and found that on-site massage therapy had a measurable effect on workers’ job satisfaction and workplace stress, as well as their levels of pain and discomfort.
Lucky workers were given an opportunity to sign up for a 20-minute massage therapy session once a week, and what’s more their massage breaks were paid – and extra to their regular breaks. They were given this employee perk for four weeks, and were treated on the most common areas of stress – neck, shoulders, upper back, lower back and arms. The type of massage techniques used were all designed for relaxation.
Data from the study showed that the sessions became more and more popular as the four weeks passed, with word of mouth recommending the massage therapy to co-workers who may have not signed up to start with.
The people who received the massages reported an improvement to their quality of life – which they also reported decreasing after the four weeks. If that doesn’t tell you something…
People who had reported aches and pains before they signed up for their free massages said that the severity of their pain ‘significantly decreased’ while they were being treated – but the benefits didn’t last after they stopped having their massages. Most people thought that their massage therapy was effective and were happy with their sessions.
According to the report, after the four-week intervention, all the benefits were quickly forgotten – six weeks later the care workers said that the symptoms they had before the massage sessions became worse again and their feelings of job satisfaction started to decrease too.
What does this mean for Manchester’s hard working community? Well, we think it shows that workers who get regular massages not only get the benefit of the treatment, but also the very fact that they are given the massage by their employer makes them feel valued, and gives them a sense of job satisfaction that most jobs don’t offer.
It would be great to see more workplaces offering subsidised or free massage to employees, and even more important, combining a massage therapy program with other health improvement support in the workplace can only be a good thing. It works both ways – loyal staff are worth their weight in gold, and with musculoskeletal injuries leading to so many sick days, stress and depression also causing absence and problems at work, and staff morale being such a crucial factor in keeping a stable workforce, a 20-minute massage once a week would seem like a small investment for a big return.
Would you offer your staff a workplace massage option? If you are employed, would you be more likely to stay with your employer of they paid for you to have massages?
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