Every one of us from the lowest employee to the highest CEO, and everyone in between, has occasionally suffered from a lack of focus. We may get tired, groggy, anxious, or stressed and our ability to concentrate (and therefore, be productive) starts to slip away. Instead of chugging down another sugar-laden energy, or trying to stamp out your stress with another chocolate bar, try massage instead.
In a 1996 study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, participants were divided up into two groups: one group who received a 15 minute chair massage twice a week for 5 weeks, and one group who were only asked to sit and relax for 15 minutes twice a week for 5 weeks. While both groups did experience increased relaxation and reported a less depressed mood, the massage group also experienced:
- enhanced alertness
- lower job stress
- lower anxiety
- and increased speed and accuracy on math problems
Clearly, massage has more benefits than just “feeling good”. Who knew that you could both be more relaxed and more productive simultaneously? But if your workplace doesn’t provide employee chair massage yet, never fear! You can still get many of the benefits of massage therapy through self-massage techniques. Just keep a tennis ball in your desk at work to roll out any tight or tired areas during the day. You can use the wall to help you in those hard-to-reach spots between your shoulder blades. Or you can lie on the floor with two tennis balls at the base of your skull to help release tension in your head before a headache sets in. Give it a try for 10-15 minutes every day, and see how much more alert and focused you can be at work.