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Incorporate Massage Blog

2 min read

Chronic Stress in the Workplace: How Massage Can Help

Aug 31, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Stressed out employees don't work at their highest potential. They're tired, irritable, and burnt out. So what can be done about it?

It's a question we've heard too many times to count. In this article, we show you the effects of stress in the workplace and how chair massage can help. 

workplace stress

How Does Chair Massage Help with Workplace Stress? 

Your employees are stressed, we get it. There's a reason Mondays get such a bad rap, and Fridays are so well loved. Work can be stressful, even when employees love what they do and your company culture is great. 


What Are The Effects of Job Stress? 

Stress affects so many aspects of the mind and body. It's almost hard to keep track. 

Physical Effects of Stress

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Elevated stress hormones such as cortisol
  • Creates shallow, rapid breathing
  • Poor posture creates tight muscles
  • Muscle knots created from tension
  • Low back and hip pain from sitting long hours of the day
  • Decreased sleep quality
  • Decreased proper circulation

Mental Effects of Stress 

  • Rapid, disorganized thinking
  • Emotionally "on-edge"
  • Difficulty being present
  • Increased forgetfulness
  • Poor memory recall

Related: 3 Major Signs of Employee Burnout (And How to Fix Them)


How Does Massage Help Stress in the Workplace? 

You want the short answer or the technical answer? I'll give you both. 

It's been proven that a 5-10 minute chair massage can create very real physical and mental results. After a chair massage -- even a short one -- people feel happier, more relaxed, and more focused. Breathing returns to normal, muscles loosen up and the mind becomes more clear. 

Technically what's happening is that after a few minutes of relaxation, the body will start to release the feel good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine. These hormones counteract stress hormones like cortisol.

While a little stress is actually good for us, too much is harmful. Too much cortisol in the body on a long term basis causes cardiovascular problems down the line - including heart attacks and strokes (eek!).

When a massage therapist is working on a muscle knot, they're applying pressure to an area of muscle fibers that have become jumbled up and stagnant. (Read this for a more in-depth look at muscle knots: Trigger Points: How Massage Can Help). 


The Best ROI on Employee Chair Massages

A really great chair massage will do wonders for anyone. But the effects will only last so long. It's like going to the gym once a year -- sure a workout is good for you, but lasting changes won't happen unless it's regular and consistent. 

The best return on investment for a massage program is a weekly or twice-a-month program of 15-minutes each. This is where physical and mental benefits are seen regularly. 


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Erin Hall
Written by Erin Hall