woman doing yoga at home

The Best Way to Get Rid of Work Stress

By Christine Macahilig
May 11, 2023

Research has long shown the physical and mental health benefits of taking up a yoga practice, from improving sleep to relieving lower-back and neck pain. Now, a study published in the Journal of Occupational Health suggests that yoga may be particularly effective in reducing work-related stress.

Researchers in Florida and Nevada reviewed 15 randomized controlled trials to study the use of physical relaxation methods for work-related stress in healthcare workers. Among the techniques they looked at were yoga, walking, massage therapy, and progressive muscle relaxation. They also conducted a study that compared multiple treatments in randomized controlled trials at the same time to determine which relaxation technique was the most effective at reducing work stress.

The findings suggest that using any of the physical relaxation methods helped in lowering overall work stress; but yoga, and yoga-like exercises such as tai chi and qi gong, stood out as the most effective at managing stress, followed by massage therapy.

Why is yoga great for destressing from work? Researchers note that a yoga practice may help regulate the autonomic nervous system, which includes heart rate and blood pressure. It may also help keep levels of cortisol, a hormone released into the bloodstream when a person is undergoing high levels of stress, down. Yoga’s focus on the breath may further help the body get into a state of relaxation that promotes mental and emotional well‑being.

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