As an HR professional, you’re constantly in search of company benefits that improve employee health, increase productivity, don’t cost too much and — here’s the tricky part — employees actually want to use. If you found it, you’d be the office hero. Well, tie on your cape, because the Holy Grail of employee benefits is here: chair massage.
Chair massage is the ultimate office perk.
- It doesn’t require a lot of space — a small conference room will suffice.
- It’s convenient. Employees don’t have to travel anywhere to take advantage, and each massage lasts 12 to 20 minutes, so it doesn’t take too much time away from work.
- It’s simple to schedule. With Zeel chair massage, after you book an event, employees schedule their own massage times directly with Zeel. That means you don’t have to field scheduling requests or run around the office with a sign-up sheet.
The best part is chair massage addresses some of the most common employee complaints (except those never-ending thermostat wars, sorry). Here are the top five:
1. “I’m tired.”
Americans as a whole are walking around sleep-deprived. Nearly one-third of American workers consistently operate on less than seven hours of sleep each night, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults ages 18 to 64 get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.
Numerous studies show regular massage can help adults of all ages get better, more restorative sleep. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation reports that a mere three-minute massage can mean 35 extra minutes of Zzzs at night.
2. “My back/neck/shoulder hurts from staring at the computer.”
Desk work doesn’t sound back-breaking, but it can cause pains and strains all over, including the back, neck, and shoulders. Prolonged sitting puts pressure on the spine, leading to low-back pain, the No. 1 cause of disability. Poor posture causes the shoulders to tense up, and improperly positioned monitors lead to neck strain.
The trend toward flexible workspaces is only bound to intensify the problem. If employees aren’t able to sit in the same chair each day, they may be less inclined to adjust it properly. And those hip pleather couches in the common area where everyone is always looking so relaxed? Looking down at a laptop screen like that can wreak havoc on the neck and shoulders.
Fortunately, studies have shown time and again massage can alleviate back, neck and shoulder pain.
3. “I am stressed.”
Corporate life is stressful. Employees are constantly being asked to do more in less time with fewer resources. It’s no wonder 80 percent of workers report being stressed on the job, according to The American Institute of Stress. One corporate study found that absenteeism could be attributed to stress about 60 percent of the time. Stress has been found to reduce immunity, exacerbate behavioral health problems and cause headaches.
Massage is known for its stress-relieving abilities, but don’t take our word for it. There’s plenty of science to back up the fact that massage is indeed highly beneficial in decreasing heart rate and blood pressure as well as easing tension headaches.
4. “I’m always getting sick.”
Offices are nearly as bad as daycares when it comes to sharing germs. Conference tables, computer keyboard, and communal candy dishes are breeding grounds for viruses and bacteria. Layer on the fact that stress can make employees more susceptible to illness, and it’s no wonder colds and flu spread through the sea of cubicles like wildfire.
Forget the vitamin C packets and echinacea lozenges; massage is more likely to enhance the body’s immune response. Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center found massage boosts the number of lymphocyte cells in the body, which are important in defending the body from harmful substances.
5. “I feel bored.”
Let’s face it, corporate employees of all ages and experience levels will get into ruts from time to time. The constant grind of today’s fast-paced corporate world takes its toll, and they may end up feeling unfocused and uninspired from time to time.
Massage can help with that, too. According to a study in the International Journal of Neuroscience, regular chair massage increased the speed and accuracy adults could complete math computations and boosted alertness.
Massage may also boost creativity, which is why Forbes magazine recommended regular massage for corporate executives, citing how giving the mind a break can help big-wigs see the bigger picture and formulate solutions.
Are you convinced? Book a chair massage event for your office and wait for the feedback to roll in. With Zeel, you can easily book chair massage therapists throughout the U.S., including major locations like NYC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Denver, and Miami.
A longtime freelance writer, Shelly Flannery has previously served as editor-in-chief of About Health, a 24-page consumer health magazine and editor-in-chief of Vim & Vigor magazine, a 56-page consumer health magazine syndicated in markets across the U.S. and Canada.