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Yoga Shown to Lower Cost of Insurance Benefits for Employers

Yoga Shown to Lower Cost of Insurance Benefits for Employers

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Author: Shernide Delva 

If your employer does not offer yoga and meditation classes, you may want to show them this article. A growing body of research has revealed the yoga and meditation can actually keep you away from the hospital and lower the cost of insurance benefits at your workplace.

Yoga initiatives in the work place help improve health and reduce costs according studies done by the health insurance company, Aetna. In the study, a yoga and meditation initiative for employees helped reduce their heart rates and helped increase productivity and health benefit costs by 7%.

Ezekiel Emanuel of the University of Pennsylvania said while more studies are needed, overall prevention efforts and traditional wellness programs are important for not only improving health, but saving money.  Aetna determined in 2010 that workers with the highest level of stress were costing the company $2000 more per year than co-workers. In response to that research, they created an initiative to promote yoga and meditation. The workers saw improvements in their heart rates and increased productivity.

“Stress can have a significant impact on physical and mental health, so there is a strong need for programs that help people reduce stress as part of achieving their best health,” said Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark T. Bertolini. “The results from the mind-body study provide evidence that these mind-body approaches can be an effective complement to conventional medicine and may help people improve their health, something that I have experienced personally.”

The benefits don’t stop there. Mind-body practices may also help decrease anxiety and improve self-awareness, the article mentions. The practice of yoga and meditation can decrease wide range of stress-related symptoms and medical conditions.

Yoga and meditation triggers the body’s relaxation response and lowers levels of the stress hormone Cortisol. Stress-related health problems account for between 75 and 90 percent of all hospital visits. More research is needed to confirm the results in other setting; however the findings offer reasons to be optimistic. Perhaps a low-cost, low-risk intervention such as implementing yoga can reduce public spending on health care.

The next step is to encourage public health interventions that focus on making mind-body medicine more accessible to a larger subset of the population. For now, anyone can employ relaxation technique on their own. Taking a 10 to 20 minute break to just break and relax or doing yoga during your lunch break can be one way to implement stress-reducing activities into your routing.

The Affordable Care Act

There is a strong need for programs that help people reduce stress as part of achieving a healthier life. The Affordable Care Act recognizes the benefits of wellness and includes alternative medicines such as yoga, massage, therapy acupuncture etc…

To find out if your employer offers a wellness program, review your company’s employee handbook. If they do not, you may want to suggest they look into the benefits of implementing a healthy program for everyone on staff. The benefits could be greater than they could ever imagine.

Yoga and Addiction

In recovery, yoga can be an excellent way for you to overcome addiction. Yoga is a union of mind and body. Yoga detoxes the body and stimulates healing. After years of abusing your body with drugs and alcohol, yoga will allow you to become more aware of your body and consider how the way you treat it affects you.

By engaging in a regular practice, you will begin a process of physical recovery. Most addicts to not know how sick they are. Yoga is known to teach you how to listen to your body and recognize signs of imbalance. In recovery, you continuously work on making improvements in your overall self.

Learning about the benefits of yoga will allow you to become more aware of how changing your routine can have such a profound impact on your overall health. Talk to your employer about implanting a program that will change the way everyone feels inside and out.If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588.

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