massage workplace

Massage Therapy in the Workplace

Employee wellness programs can take a variety of forms. Some may incentivize healthy behaviors, while others provide the physical space to engage in healthy behaviors.

Employee wellness programs can take a variety of forms.  Some may incentivize healthy behaviors, while others provide the physical space to engage in healthy behaviors.  Other programs are quite specific such as massage therapy.  Offering massage therapy to employees is one area that has been frequently proposed since the 1990’s and a solid body of evidence supports its efficacy in reducing stress and enhancing job satisfaction.

Many studies focus on offering massage therapy to groups of employees engaged in laborious work such as nurses.  The results from these studies can be broadly applied to any workplace that requires employees to stand for prolonged periods of time, have 12 hour shifts, night shifts, or involve the physical labor of repeatedly bending over or lifting.  A 2009 study found that simple 20 minute massages offered on site improved the employees’ job satisfaction, lessened workplace stress, and decreased pain. [2] 


The decrease in pain was most substantial for employees who had chronic job-related pains and strains, an important demographic to address.  Other studies shortened the massage time to just 15 minutes and gave similar results: reduced anxiety and less physical complaints. [3,4]  And finally, one study found that not only does workplace-based massage therapy reduce physical pain, but it can also actually reduce the employees’ blood pressures, an important health indicator. [1]

The takeaways from this body of research are that offering even brief massages, on site, can greatly improve employee stress and physical pain. The important parts are that the massages are actually at the workplace, not at a different location, and that they are offered weekly.  Employees also prefer the sessions during their normal working hours.  Employers can invest in a simple massage chair, which runs approximately $70, and hire a mobile massage therapist for the day to achieve these positive results.  

Massage therapy can be a healthy and enjoyable part of your comprehensive workplace health strategy.  At Briotix, we help employers put together a health and wellness package for their needs, their workplace and their vision. 

Contact us at Briotix to find out how we can work with you to compose the best solution to your individual needs.

[1] Day, A. L., Gillan, L., Francis, L., Kelloway, E. K., & Natarajan, M. (2009). Massage therapy in the workplace: reducing employee strain and blood pressure. Giornale Italiano Di Medicina Del Lavoro Ed Ergonomia, 31(3 Suppl B), B25-B30.
[2] Back, C., Tam, H., Lee, E., & Haraldsson, B. (2009). The effects of employer-provided massage therapy on job satisfaction, workplace stress, and pain and discomfort. Holistic Nursing Practice, 23(1), 19-31. doi:10.1097/01.HNP.0000343206.71957.a9
[3] Katz, J., Wowk, A., Culp, D., & Wakeling, H. (1999). Pain and tension are reduced among hospital nurses after on-site massage treatments: a pilot study. Journal Of Perianesthesia Nursing: Official Journal Of The American Society Of Perianesthesia Nurses, 14(3), 128-133.  
[4] Engen, D. J., Wahner-Roedler, D. L., Vincent, A., Chon, T. Y., Cha, S. S., Luedtke, C. A., & ... Bauer, B. A. (2012). Feasibility and effect of chair massage offered to nurses during work hours on stress-related symptoms: a pilot study. Complementary Therapies In Clinical Practice, 18(4), 212-215. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2012.06.002

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