Workplace Stretching Eases Anxiety

Mental and physical benefits from just 10 minutes a day

Feeling stressed at work? There are many things that could make you less so, but among those you can control, consider a short, daily workplace stretching program. Such a program can significantly reduce anxiety and increase feelings of well-being, according to a new Spanish study.

Sixty-seven Spanish workers did a 10-minute workplace stretching program on work days for three months. After three months, they were better off mentally and physically than 67 of their co-workers who weren’t part of the office stretching program.

As the researchers reported, the short stretching program “was effective for reducing levels of anxiety, bodily pain and exhaustion, and for raising levels of vitality, mental health, general health and flexibility.”

In the best-case scenario, you could use this information to lobby for an organised stretching program at your job. After all, as the Spanish researchers put it, “This type of intervention could be seen as a low-cost strategy for improving the well-being of workers.” Indeed, workers at the U.S.-based New Balance factories take a break every hour for a few minutes of stretching. But there’s no reason to wait for HR to implement something you can do on your own.

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