Researchers at Bangor University in North Wales have reported their findings that lunch time yoga can significantly reduce stress levels, improve mood and reduce the likelihood of stress related back pain.
74 British government workers aged between 25 and 64 who had reported work related stress and back pain were randomly assigned to practice either eight weeks of yoga, or no yoga. The participants in the yoga group attended a 50-minute yoga class during their lunch break once a week and were given a 20-minute yoga DVD to use at their leisure.
Both before and after the 8-week trial period, the participants completed a questionnaire assessing their stress levels, general mood and well being as well as the occurrence of back pain.
The researchers reported that there was a 60 percent decrease in the number of reported back problems in the yoga group participants. In contrast the number of individuals in the control group who reported experiencing back pain had increased.
The findings also concluded that yoga improves an individual’s general sense of wellbeing, reducing reported feelings of sadness.
The researchers reported that the majority of the participants in the study were women and so the finding s may be harder to generalise to men, however the overall conclusions are that lunch time yoga can help reduce stress and improve general health and wellbeing.