Updated: Apr 2, 2019
Let’s face it. We spend a lot of time at work. In fact, over 37 million Americans work more than 40 hours a week, and nearly 10 million declare working 60 hours or more each week, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics .
So how does this affect our quality of life?
40% of employees say their job is “very or extremely stressful,” and an estimated 1 million employees miss work every day due to stress-related issues , according to the American Institute of Stress (AIS). Their report also states that the U.S. industry spends an estimated $300 billion annually due to stress-related absenteeism, accidents, employee turnover, productivity, and direct medical, insurance, and legal costs.
Clearly, our job satisfaction has a huge impact on our overall wellness and wallets. But do reduced stress and increased happiness at work really make a difference?
People who are happy at work contribute 25% more to their job and are 108% more engaged than those who are un-happy, concluded Jessica Pryce-Jones’ research in Happiness at Work .
Also, healthcare expenditures are nearly 50% less for workers who report low levels of stress , based on studies by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
We all want to improve productivity and reduce costs, but how can we just be happier?
There's a myriad of activities that encourage happiness and stress relief, and every person has a unique perspective and capability to engage. But there’s one thing that everyone can do anytime, anywhere. Breathe.
Conscious breathing reactivates the body’s “rest and digest” state, restoring vital balance of the autonomic nervous system. In her book Dancing With Divinity , Deanna Reiter reminds us that full, deep breathing changes the pH level of the blood and lowers heart rate, blood pressure, and perceived stress in the body. Taking 10 deep breaths can create the space needed to clear your mind, listen to your intuition, and make sound decisions. In less than one minute, you can induce relief and clarity just by focusing on your breath!
That’s exactly what we do for employees at Northwire, Inc. in Osceola, WI. For 15-minute sessions called “Breath Breaks,” employees are encouraged to step away from their desks to relax and recharge with peaceful music and guided breathing exercises.
“I love the breath breaks offered at Northwire! I feel rejuvenated and come away with a more positive attitude from Krista’s classes,” claims a regular participant.
For those who enjoy a more physical stress-relief practice, 30-minute yoga sessions are also offered at Northwire. Maintaining focus on the breath, employees are guided through gentle restorative yoga sequences to stretch and release tension from the body and mind. Matching this movement with conscious breathing can improve one’s ability to focus, prioritize, and regain confidence in overwhelming workloads. One Northwire employee says, “You are magic! My body and spirit feel much better after yoga - thank you!!!”
Does your organization wish to reduce stress and insurance costs while increasing employee satisfaction and productivity? Whether implementing yoga and relaxation classes or employee wellness programs and events, together we can design a rejuvenating and informative experience to fit your group's unique wellness needs.
Contact me today to explore the happy-boosting opportunities available to you and your organization. Your body, your mind, and your boss will thank you for engaging in self-care and returning to your desk more creative and productive than ever!
What else is Northwire saying about their wellness activities?
“We enlisted Krista to lead yoga and other wellness programs at Northwire, Inc. This became a main component of our wellness strategy leading to a healthier workforce, allowing us to keep insurance premiums in check. Krista’s approach is always positive and encouraging. She offers sound advice to help with one’s emotional, physical and nutritional wellbeing. I am truly appreciative all that Krista has done to make our company a place that people want to be.”
-Joe Van Landschoot, General Manager at Northwire, Inc.
 HOUSEHOLD DATA ANNUAL AVERAGES 19. Persons at work in agriculture and nonagricultural industries by hours of work. Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey, United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, (Jan. 18, 2019). https://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat19.htm
 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) (1999). STRESS… At Work. Publication No. 99-101. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/99-101/pdfs/99-101.pdf?id=10.26616/NIOSHPUB99101
 Pryce-Jones, Jessica (2010). Happiness At Work. Wiley-Blackwell. Available at: https://iopenerinstitute.com/happiness-at-work-maximizing-your-psychological-capital-for-success/
 Reiter, Deanna (2007). Dancing With Divinity: Positive Affirmations for Any Situation. First Printing. Available at: http://experienceqibreathing.com/product/dancing-with-divinity-yoga/