Chair massage: Helping you to create a great workplace which boosts morale
UK employers are finding that seated chair massage is increasingly popular in the workplace. Chair massage can refresh, energise and relax employees, leaving them motivated and productive. Here, we examine the phenomenon of chair massage and the reasons for its recent popularity.
What is chair massage?
Seated chair massage usually focuses on the back, shoulder and neck areas and is conducted whilst seated in a special massage therapy chair. This is a short treatment, taking anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. It allows for pressure to be adjusted according to the client’s preference and can be tailored to individual needs.
Massage chairs are portable and can be easily set up by a therapist, requiring no additional equipment. They are comfortable and designed to relax and support the body whilst undergoing the massage therapy. As the massage is conducted over clothing, it can conveniently take place anywhere in the workplace with no disruption.
What are the facts?
Office employees often suffer from postural problems caused by sitting in front of a computer for hours at a time. This is at best, uncomfortable and at worst, a health liability for employers. In our increasingly desk-bound culture, sick days due to postural problems are on the increase.
Traffic congestion and long hours at work makes office workers prime candidates for back pain, reflecting findings of a recent survey by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA).
The BCA surveyed 2,374 people and found that 59 per cent of the working population were risking back pain due to long hours sitting at their desks. Back pain is the second-biggest cause of sick leave in Britain, with up to five million working days lost each year. Much of this back pain is due to bad posture caused by sitting at desks and workstations.
What are the physical and mental benefits?
When properly performed, a corporate chair massage is designed to leave a client invigorated and refreshed. It can improve blood circulation to the upper body, resulting in increased energy levels. By working on key muscle groups, a qualified massage therapist can reduce stiffness and pain, and increase mobility. Chair massage can also be used as a preventative measure to combat postural problems.
Even a short session of on site chair massage can help common complaints such as hunched shoulders, stiff necks and aching arms. Lower back pain is eased due to the unique design of the massage chair. Some people have even experienced a decrease in headaches, which are often caused by tension in the neck area.
What are the psychological benefits?
In addition to the physical benefits, a well-performed chair massage will allow an employee to briefly switch off from the stress of the day and unwind. Studies show that a break of just 10 minutes can considerably improve memory and concentration levels. By forgetting about desk work for even a short while, people actually become better at remembering facts upon their return!
A feeling of physical well-being gives a psychological boost. Fully-clothed massage relieves worries about embarrassment and colleagues know what to expect in their own treatments, reducing any anxiety. Chair massage is a soothing and stress-relieving therapy that is suitable for anyone, whether they are currently experiencing any problems or not.
Who can benefit from chair massage?
People of all ages, fitness levels, shapes and sizes can benefit from chair massage. The therapist will discuss any specific concerns that a client might have before beginning and can address these in the treatment. The client dictates their own pace, intensity and length of massage and can ask their therapist to focus on, or avoid, particular areas.
For people with pre-existing health issues, chair massage can speed up and improve the recovery process. Seated chair massage has been successfully used to treat those who have suffered everything from sports injuries to stroke, hypertension to migraine. There are very few complaints that cannot benefit from the tailor-made therapy that chair massage can offer.
Why should my company offer this service?
Complementary therapies such as mobile chair massage can go along way to making employees feel cared for and appreciated by their company. This in turn improves loyalty, and boosts productivity. Typically, this type of staff perk is more cost-effective than other traditional benefits such as increased annual leave or bonuses.
Many companies have already seen the benefit of offering chair massages to employees. Apple, Sony and Google are just some of the big names that have seen better results from their newly motivated staff as a result of such treatments.