Work-site – a short relaxation massage at work will help to prevent back pain and increasing professional stress.
Fighting long-term stress
The ever-growing expectations employers have towards their employees, unstable situation on the job market and to many professional duties adversely affect the employees’ health. What is more, stress is becoming an inherent element of professional life. National Labour Inspectorate defines it clearly: Stress in a workplace occurs when people working - employees and employers - feel psychological discomfort concerning the conditions and / or work expectations in a situation when at a given moment the conditions and demands are exceeding their capabilities.
Underestimating the problem of stress at work may have negative health effects. In order to respond to a threat people activate all inner systems of the body. Long-lasting tension can result in severe problems such as for example spine pain, high blood pressure, ulcers and even increased risk of cancer. With help to fight stress at work comes among other things work-site. This type of preventive and relaxing technique is frequently referred to as corporate massage. To perform it we need only a qualified massage therapist, a chair, and 15-20 minutes long break for the employee. Sometimes the sessions are performed on mats or portable massage tables.
Not only an anti-stress massage
The basic version of the massage is a 20-minute long session in a sitting position. The person who is being massaged usually sits in a special chair dedicated to the purpose of such massages. The massage is carried out fully clothed. However, work-site is much more than just a massage in lunch break. Work-site massage is often promoted as a short massage in a sitting position in clothes. But it is a king of a mental shortcut – says Piotr Szczotka, the owner of Instytut Bodywork, a company dealing with prevention using massage and relaxation. – We perform a massage but it is not practiced and considered as for example classic massage. Work-site includes elements of massage, health education, relaxation synchronized with breath, exercises. Indeed, the procedure can be performed in clothing (T-shirt, blouse). But if there are appropriate conditions, the massage is applied directly on the body.
Benefits for employees....
There are many benefits of work-site and related methods, the main one is the possibility of effective relaxation at workplace. This results in very valuable preventive measures of emerging diseases. The combination of breathing techniques with specialist relaxing massage gives a stron boost energy to work. 15 minutes of such massage not only releases the tension but also helps to get rid of back, neck or shoulders pains. Work break in the form of work-site is also a good opportunity to give rest to the eyes and the whole body. Corporate massage (work-site) is recommended especially for people working in sitting positions, those under huge pressure and excessive, unrelieved stress – says Piotr Szczotka. – We work on those body parts which are most prone to micro-injuries and which react particularly to stress with increased tension.
In the case of working in a sitting position, lumbar spine and neck are particularly endangered. Staying for too long in one position, not necessary comfortable, at a desk causes tension in those parts of the body. 15 minutes of relaxation a day boosts spirits of the employee and results in increasing creativity and willingness to act.
Not only for women
The work-site movement has changed completely in the recent years, there are new challenges emerging. Piotr Szczotka who has been practicing work-site for 20 years says: Today not only women are interested in prevention, the awareness of the value of health is increasing also among men, especially those who spend long hours travelling, outside the office. Women are also interested in prevention of legs swelling, vascular problems, and for obvious reasons prevention of wrinkles, which undoubtedly are affected by chronic stress.
Thus, when specialists are visiting a workplace, people enjoy not only treatments on the special chairs. Employees choose other options, for example massages on mats or tables. The diversity of chosen methods allows for a complete change of the body position during the quarter of an hour relaxation.
…and for the employer
Employers should be interested in the work-site technique because of the obligation to level stress among the employees and to care about the employees’ health. 20 minutes of a professional massage will allow to effectively eliminate stress and tension in the muscles. Lack of special requirements regarding the conditions of the massage is yet another advantage: Even though the massage is carried out in the company, in breaks between conferences, meetings, it does not interrupt the work rhythm and does not disorganize the schedule – says Piotr Szczotka.
Work-site enjoys increasing interest as says Piotr Szczotka – In Poznań, such programmes are employed by commerce and manufacturing companies, theatres, actors, car dealerships, companies which employ the disabled, and even a sales network. The main reason of the interest is not only that people want to enjoy a relaxation session but mainly that they realize the preventive and activating force. Sometimes companies are so much interested in expanded programmes that a massage therapist joins them on training and motivation trips.
Besides, the main advantage observed in the practice and in the research on work-site is the decrease of absences among employees, prevention of tension in the area of the face, shoulders, spine and diminishing problems with concentration, restricted movement or even psychosomatic back pain. Many companies use work-site for because of prestige.
Employers should not worry about the costs of such sessions. The prices of work-site massage vary from 100 to 150 PLN an hour. Usually, during an hour, the massage therapist will massage three employees. It is also possible to hire a massage therapist for one day. The cost of a day-long session amounts to about 800 PLN.
However, when we decide on work-site we need to remember that real effects will be visible mainly in the case of regular sessions. The effectiveness of a single massage is limited but sometimes a single session draws the employees’ attention towards health issues. Consequently they start for example using the services of massage therapists. We observe also growing interest in physical activity, sport, and even casual – and so much needed – walking.
It is best when a massage therapist comes to the office regularly (1-2 times a week). Thanks to that the employees will have the support is the struggle with work stress, and the employer will be sure that that he cares about the health of the employees properly.