Getting the Human Touch…While You Work

Gina M. Bello written for Sage Magazine

Most people spend on average 40 hours per week, roughly 2000 hours per year, or approximately 250 days per year at work. During all that time on the job exchanging time and talent for money, are employees generally healthy, happy and productive?

On one hand, most employees would agree on the importance of enjoying their time while at work, not only in what they do, but how they do it. Employers on the other hand, strive to reduce absenteeism, reduce turnover and collaborate with their staff to ensure they’re optimally productive.

It is estimated that 60 and 90 percent of all visits to health care professionals are for stress-related disorders. To the employer, in wages paid, the cost of absenteeism is estimated to be over $30 billion per year. The total loss, including lost productivity, is estimated to be as high as $150 billion per year. Only two of every ten employees work at full potential according to the National Commission on Productivity and half of the work force expends only the minimum effort needed to get by. For employers, these are alarming and to say the least “expensive” statistics. For employers, one of the leading causes of absenteeism and a major health concern is employees’ time-off due to Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI’ s).

How can issues such as toxic overload, stress-related disorders and repetitive strain injuries at work be addressed to minimize the number of employee illness, absences and lost productivity with measurable results? One cost-effective way is for employers to incorporate wellness initiatives and preventative programs that provide education to their staff, and incorporate hands-on relaxing and rejuvenating modalities such as chair massage.

When employers consider decreased productivity due to employee illness and absenteeism, the money paid in Workers Safety and Insurance Board claims (WSIB) filed each year, the disability claims filed through insurance providers, the cost of implementing a wellness program as a proactive and preventative health & wellness approach for its employees is not only wise and productive, but the benefits far out-weigh the cost.

One such program consisting of On-Site Seated Relaxation Massage contributes to increased productivity with substantially fewer errors. Massage is provided by trained massage professionals, done over clothing while the recipient is seated in an ergonomic light-weight and portable massage chair. The University of Miami studied the effects of a series of seated massage sessions and found that massage recipients did computational tests in half the time with half as many errors as they did before the seated massage sessions. In as little as 15-minutes per employee, the time it take s for a coffee break, employees can experience reduced stress, improved morale, increased productivity and feel happier and healthier at work! So it may go without saying that feeling good while at work may actually help one to feel good about their work*.

“On-Site massage cut the time employees have taken off for work-related injuries by 25% or drop of $200,000 in worker’s compensation claims”, says Baxter Corporation Health Services supervisor, Helen Ayers.

“There’s been a definite return in our money.” Source: The Financial Times

Features and Benefits of On-site Seated Relaxation Massage:

  • Specifically for relaxation, stress reduction, reducing muscle tension
  • Is effective in achieving a relaxation response in as little as 10-minutes
  • Does not have to be prescribed by a Doctor
  • Performed in a very comfortable ergonomic massage chair
  • Relaxation massage employ primarily Shiatsu and Swedish techniques
  • Performed on the client with clothing on
  • Performed without massage oils
  • Can be performed virtually anywhere; can be easily incorporated into the workplace without disrupting the daily routine
  • The cost for on-site service provided by Certified Chair Massage Practitioners, is comparatively lower than that provided by Registered Massage Therapists
  • Is cost-effective per employee when paid by employer
  • Does not take up much space; can be accommodated in a staff lounge or common area
  • Introduces many who’ve never experienced massage to enjoy the benefits and possibly remove fears about trying therapeutic table massage
  • Provides measurable results: lowers absenteeism rate, increases productivity, reduces turnover, reduces computational errors, improves morale and relationship with employer

* University of Miami School of Medicine Touch Research Institute, in Miami, Florida. Authors: Miguel A. Diego, Tiffany Field, Ph.D., Chris Sanders, Maria Hernandez-Reif, Ph.D. Originally published in International Journal of Neuroscience, 2004, Vol. 114, pp. 31-45.

Gina Bello, RCRT, RRPr
Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, Certified Chair Massage Practitioner Hand Heart & Sole Wellness Sage Magazine, July 2009

©2009 Hand Heart & Sole Wellness

May not be copied or reproduced in part or in whole without prior written consent.