Objective: This study examined the feasibility of using an intervention of Medical Yoga in the workplace and investigated its effects on perceived stress and work ability.
Design and setting: This was a quasi-experimental pilot study comparing a group who received Medical Yoga (intervention group, N=17), with a group waiting to receive Medical Yoga (control group, N=15).
Intervention: Medical Yoga in nine weekly sessions led by a certified instructor, as well as an instruction film to be followed at home twice weekly.
Main outcome measures: Feasibility was assessed through recruitment, eligibility, willingness to participate, response to questionnaires and adherence to the intervention plan. Stress was measured with the Perceived Stress Scale, work ability with the Work Ability Index.
Results: Convincing unit managers to let their employees participate in this intervention was difficult. Eligibility was perfect, but only 40% of workers were willing to participate. The subjects adhered to a great extent to the intervention and answered the questionnaires satisfactorily. Reaching target individuals requires careful attention to informing participants. The intervention showed no significant effects on stress and work ability, though the two measures correlated significantly over time.
Conclusion: Factors limiting feasibility of this workplace intervention were identified. Work place interventions may need to be sanctioned at a higher managerial level. The optimal time, length and availability of the workplace intervention should be explored further. Knowledge from this study could be used as a foundation when planning a larger scale study.
Keywords: Stress; Work ability; Workplace; Yoga.
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