Research & Studies show...

Corporate Chair Massage Can Benefit Your Workplace Wellness Program

If you are thinking about a corporate chair massage program for your office or company as part of your wellness benefits package, you will want to consider the benefits to employees and your company. Whether you provide massage regularly, just during “crunch” times, or as an employee appreciation treat, massage can really make a difference in productivity, job satisfaction, and health.


Employee corporate chair massage programs.

Things to consider when comparing other wellness benefits to a corporate chair massage program:

  • Participation – 99% of your employees will take part in a chair massage program, study after study have shown this to be true.
  • Cost – Chair massage is often cheaper than providing free coffee or soda and healthier, from as little as $13 per employee.
  • Effectiveness – Same day results that last for weeks. See below for a complete look at the benefits of a corporate chair massage program for your office or company.

Improve Productivity With On-Site Corporate Chair Massage

Even a brief chair massage visit can significantly improve employee problem solving abilities. A recent study in American Psychologist gave one group of workers a 15 minute rest, and another, a 15 minute massage. The group that received the massage performed significantly better on complicated tasks like math problems. Massage also improves creative thinking and relieves fatigue. It’s better than a cup of coffee!

In addition, by lowering stress, workplace massage helps eliminate absenteeism, making your team more competitive. “Massage addressed the symptoms of stress,” says Bruce Kelly, a consultant with William M. Mercer, the benefits firm, about massage at one company. “It offers people relief and helps them perform better.”

The number of companies that offer massage to lower stress and improve productivity is growing every year. So, do such people-friendly policies result in higher revenues? You bet, says Fortune Magazine. In fact, Eddie Bauer, one of Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, provides on-site massage twice a week at corporate headquarters.

In addition, by lowering stress, massage helps eliminate absenteeism, making your team more competitive.

Improve Health With A Regular Chair Massage Program In The Workplace

A corporate chair massage program can help keep your employees healthy as well as happy. Massage has been shown to reduce blood pressure, relieve arthritis, improve joint and muscle aches especially in painful areas of the neck and back, and even increase immunity to colds and flu! In addition, massage can play a very important role is preventing and treating the pain and numbness associated with excessive keyboard and mouse use.

Improve Well-Being And Reduce Employee Stress

Stress-related employee turnover, absenteeism and waning morale all affect the bottom line. Job stress and related problems cost companies an estimated $200 billion or more annually, based on information from the American Institute of Stress and the American Psychological Association.

Relaxed workers are more likely to cooperate with each other, and lowering stress lowers both anxiety and hostility, improving the work environment for everyone.

Corporate Chair Massage Programs Benefit Your Company

Enhance Employee Hiring and Retention Activities

No matter what the economy, valuable workers can take their pick of jobs.

With the sky-rocketing costs of health insurance, many companies struggle to find benefits to help attract and retain employees.

Lift Morale

Massage creates a positive workplace culture, and let’s employees know you really care about their well-being.

Deal with a Crisis or “Crunch” Time

Massage can help your team get through a demanding time or reward them for their extra effort. A number of our customers use massage to relieve the stress of restructuring, moving, budget season, or other hectic times of the year.

Chair Massage Program Help – Why Choose Chair Massage?

Do you have questions about setting up a corporate chair massage program for your office or company? Are you not sure why you should choose chair massage for your wellness program? Below we have answered these questions and others from companies interested in setting up their own workplace chair massage program.


Will chair massage make us feel sleepy?

The workplace massage method incorporates refreshing techniques like targeted stretching and “effleurage” to leave staff feeling energized and looking neat, ready to take on the day.

With our limited budget, can Stress Recess massage really enhance hiring and retention?

With rocketing health insurance costs, many companies struggle to offer attractive benefits.

Even on a small budget, you create a relaxing reward with a long-lasting impact on retention.

Our company is cutting costs. Isn’t chair massage a luxury at a time like this?

It goes without saying that slashing costs can slash morale, especially if remaining employees have to work long hours to make up for laid-off staff.

If your company is restructuring, (or facing the stress of a product launch, deadline, or office move) an inexpensive chair massage session reduces conflict, lowers anxiety, and eases muscles knotted by long hours. Most importantly, massage tells remaining staff that you still care about them…no matter what!

Bringing Massage Therapy into the Workplace

The Workplace

Nearly half of the average person’s waking weekday hours are spent at work. Because separating what you do with how you feel is beyond human control, prolonged stressful work situations typically reveal themselves in physical or emotional health issues. Some facts highlighting the relationship between work and stress include:

  • According to the American Institute of Stress, workplace stress costs the nation more than $300 billion each year in health care, missed work and stress reduction efforts.
  • According to a LLuminari® Landmark Study, 20 percent of all workers are at risk for stress related health problems.
  • The LLuminari® Landmark Study found that 10 percent of workers are so tired at the end of their work day that they do not enjoy their non-work time.
  • The LLuminari® Landmark Study also reported that 20 percent of workers stated that their work regularly interfered with their responsibilities at home and kept them from spending time with their family.
  • According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, workers who report they are stressed incur health care costs that are 46 percent higher, or $600 more per person, than other employees.

Massage in the Workplace

An ideal way to bring bodywork into the workplace, chair massage can change the daunting reign of stress and depression at work. Since chair massage can be performed in a small space without requiring much privacy and can easily be scheduled during a 15-30 minute break, it rarely poses any logistical challenges. According to research published in a 1996 edition of The International Journal of Neuroscience, chair massage recipients experienced enhanced alertness, lower anxiety levels, less depression and lower levels of job stress.

Instituting a chair massage program demonstrates an employer’s commitment to the health and well-being of their employees. Chair massage techniques have been shown to measurably lower daily stress levels and may even reduce depression. Benefits of bodywork done in the workplace include a decrease in stress-related employee turnover, less absenteeism, improved morale, workers more likely to cooperate and lowered company healthcare costs.

Whether a therapist practices massage on a stressed worker after hours in a massage studio or during an employee’s lunch break at their office, they can help their clients realize their potential for wellness. By bringing chair massage into a business, a practitioner opens a route to impact more stressed employees in a shorter period of time. To reduce the stress and depression so common in the workplace, massage therapists who bring their skills to a busy office are lucky – because they can really make a difference.




Chair Massage Benefits

Chair massage is the easiest way to provide your employees with important health benefits. Often people look at massage as an expensive luxury, but it’s actually cheaper than other employee benefits. But chair massage isn’t just for your employees—it benefits your business, too. Here’s how:


Increased productivity and creative thinking

Simply put, when people feel better, they work better. Even 15 minutes of chair massage a week have been scientifically proven to lower stress, reduce muscle tension, rejuvenate the mind and body, and foster alertness—the keys to productive people.

Reduced absenteeism

Because massage benefits the immune system, a chair massage program can lead your employees to take fewer sick days. That’s a bigger deal than you might think. According to a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers who take time off because of stress or anxiety will be out of commission for more than 20 days throughout the year. That’s four weeks! Additionally, there are countless other studies that demonstrate how chair massage’s health benefits reduce employee absenteeism.


Fewer stress- and ergonomics-related injuries

Americans put in longer hours than workers in any other industrialized nation. And those hours are constantly getting more stressful. According to the American Institute of Stress, 40 percent of workers in a 2001 survey described their office environment as a “real life survivor program.” More than half of workers complained about their workplace’s fast-pace and tight deadlines, and many reported having to do monotonous, repetitive tasks.

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work reported that one in five last-minute workplace no-shows in the United States are due to job stress. In fact, one large corporation conducted a three-year study and found that 60 percent of its employee absences could be traced back to job-related stress problems.

And it’s not all psychological. Sitting in a chair all day is a leading cause of back pain (Did you know that 30 percent of office workers report back pain?), fatigue, headaches and other physical health problems, which can lead to complications.

Improved retention rates

Chair massage can help your company retain its employees by improving job satisfaction. Furthermore, your employees will perceive chair massage as a benefit, even if they pay for the service themselves. It’s that effective!

Show your employees that you care. They’ll be happy that you took the time to do something nice for them.

Maybe they’ll even boast to their friends about what a fantastic workplace they have.

Valuable recruitment tool

For all its positive health effects, a chair massage program at your workplace can be very attractive to the brightest and best prospective employees.

Improved morale and goodwill

After leaving a chair massage session, employees consistently report a positive mood and sense of well-being. By establishing a chair massage service at regular intervals, you’ll perpetuate this feeling.

Lower health-care costs

Regular workplace massage can reduce the need for doctor's visits for physical complaints and stress-related issues. After all, studies show 75 percent of doctor’s visits are for stress-related problems.


Your employees will enjoy:  Reduced stress and anxiety

Just 15 minutes of chair massage a week can significantly reduce stress and anxiety. And that really is a big deal. In fact, most stress and anxiety for adults is caused by work in the first place, and at least 75 percent of visits to the doctor’s office stem from this stress. Chair massage is highly effective in reducing stress and helping prevent repetitive stress injuries—like carpal tunnel.

According to an August 2002 Gallup Poll, 31 percent of U.S. workers are somewhat or completely dissatisfied with the amount of stress they face at work. Workplace stress can cause health problems, absenteeism, job turnover, and anxiety at home. Because of this, companies can experience higher health insurance premiums and lower productivity, and family members may suffer the effects of cranky workers getting home late at night after stressful days at work.

Headache and migraine relief

The University of Miami’s Touch Research Institute and several other researchers have found that migraine sufferers who receive frequent massages experience a significant reduction in migraine attacks. These findings have led many doctors to recommend that their patients get massages to curb the severity and frequency of migraines. What more convenient way to do this than to get a massage at work?


Other studies have also found that massage treatment led to lower stress levels, less pain, more headache-free days, fewer sleep disturbances and increased serotonin levels.

Relief of muscle soreness

Receiving just five or ten minutes of chair massage has been found to be effective for relief of aches and pains and stress reduction.

Lower blood pressure

Increased flexibility and range of motion

Increased resistance to illness

Workplace Massage Reduces Stress and Improves Bottom Line

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 18:09 — by Diana Khoury

Our work habits are producing an increase in work-related injuries and stress. Computer use, poor ergonomics and extended sitting contribute to painful neck, shoulder and back tension, as well as repetitive stress conditions such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This leads to a loss of productivity, increased absenteeism, and higher healthcare costs for many businesses. OSHA reports, “Musculoskeletal injuries like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome have become the nation's leading workplace health cost. [Repetitive stress injury] represents 62 percent of all North and results in nearly $15-20 billion in lost work time and Workers Compensation claims each year.”1


Research from Microsoft shows that repetitive stress injuries are on the rise due to incrasing use of laptops. “The research, which polled over 1,000 office workers, HR managers and office managers, reveals that 68% of office workers suffered from aches and pains, with the most common symptoms including back ache, shoulder pain and wrist/ hand pain as a result of working [while] in transit in cramped or awkward positions.”2

In response to the high cost of stress on our nation’s healthcare system, and its direct impact on businesses, companies are increasingly seeing the benefits of introducing wellness programs into the workplace, which includes massage. Onsite seated massage is becoming mainstream as companies recognize its therapeutic benefits, logistical feasibility, and positive impact on their bottom line.

Scientific research studying the effects of massage on office workers, nursing facilities, factory and construction workers, found that massage produced:


  • a decrease in musculoskeletal ache, pain and discomfort
  • an increase in range of motion3
  • a reduction in worker strain
  • a lowering of blood pressure4
  • a decline in stress-related symptoms.5

Dr. Brent Bauer of the Mayo Clinic confirms that the medical benefits of massage include significant reductions in stress, anxiety, pain and muscle tension.6 When employees feel less stressed, they take less sick days, are more productive, and show an increase in job satisfaction. As a result, business output increases, turnover decreases, morale improves, and healthcare expenditures are reduced. When massage becomes an important part of a comprehensive workplace wellness program, everyone benefits.


Other Resources

Workplace Massage:  the Research

The great thing about massage is that it is not only feels great, but i is great for you! The benefits are well researched. We have included a few articles that demonstrate why Massage Therapy is a good for the workplace, great for the employees, and fantastic for you.

Dr. Brent Bauer of the Mayo Clinic on the Benefits of Massage Therapy

  • Workplace Massage is Good for Business

Research has validated the positive effects of massage therapy on job performance and mental alertness resulting in improved accuracy and the reduced stress-induced illnesses.

American Institute of Stress states that an estimated 1 million workers are absent every day due to stress. Repetitive musculoskeletal injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome have become the nation’s leading workplace health cost and account for almost a third of all workers’ compensation awards. Massage has been shown to help in reducing these kinds of injuries, leading to reduced absenteeism, fewer workers’ compensation claims, and less cost to employers.

American Institute of Stress
“Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Reaching Epidemic Proportions” (Jan 18, 2005) © Medical News Today

Massage has not only gone mainstream – it’s gone corporate. Companies big and small have discovered the benefits of wellness in the workplace, and they’re using massage as a way to attract and keep employees.

Burt Abrams of B.J. Abrams & Associates, an executive recruiting firm in suburban Chicago has offered his employees chair massage over the past several years. “It is a benefit for stress relief, and it feels good,” he says. “It is a benefit that doesn’t cost a whole lot of money, and it gets a lot of good will from your employees.”

A 1992 article in the Financial Times trumpets the benefits that companies can reap by offering massage therapy to employees. The article claims a company in Ontario, Canada, reported a 25 percent decrease in time off for work-related injuries, and a $200,000 decrease in compensation claims after it implemented a massage therapy program.

At the Colorado Health Institute, Kathy Helm sits at a computer al day. She said one of the benefits of a massage is that is reveals problems that she didn’t even realize existed. “You go in and get the massage, and you’ve got this problem and this problem and this knot,” Helm says. “Once you get it worked out, you’re able to do things better. You don’t have that tension.”

Stories like this sway some companies to add massage therapy to their existing employee benefits. Employees who are happy and free of stress are more happy and productive. “We spend a lot less for this benefit than some of the other benefits that we give them,” explains John Hasmonek, at a Chicago-based accounting firm that offers employees monthly on-site massage therapy. “Employees look at discounts, overtime, and bonuses as things they have earned as a right. This is something they look at as an employer’s good will, something they do because they care.”

By Pete Reinwald in the Massage Therapy Journal – Summer 2009
  • Chair Massage Helps Desk-Bound Workers

A stiff neck. Aching wrists. Shoulders that feel as if someone folded them up. Anyone who has ever sat behind a desk all day will recognize the symptoms of workplace fatigue.

According to David Palmer, co-developer of the first massage chair and founder of the TouchPro Institute in San Francisco, most office-related physical symptoms can be attributed to loss of circulation. Tight muscles caused by stress and sitting behind a desk all day, especially at a work station that is not ergonomically designed, can impede blood and lymph flow through the body. The result is mental fogginess, decreased energy and susceptibility to repetitive stress injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Chair massage counters the circulatory problems inherent with office work—and provide an appreciated break for employees. Sitting in a massage chair opens up the back muscles, relieves strain on the neck and provides a gentle respite for eyes usually glued to a computer monitor.
Even 15 minutes of massage to the neck, back, arms and hands can increase circulation, returning energy levels and helping keep the body injury free.

“When chair massage is used preventively, if you have problems it allows you to maintain a homeostatic balance that prevents the little problems from getting worse,” Palmer said.

from the Office of Health Education at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Getting the Message about Workplace Massage

Employees are stressed out and employers are beginning to get the message. And now, both are getting the massage about massage in and out of the workplace as a corporate benefit. Here are some notes from leading publications and groups that you might want to check out if you want further information.

Crain’s Chicago Business states businesses with as few as 14 staff members, as well as large corporations like Motorola and Amoco, are now hiring massage therapists to perform massage in the workplace. The article (referenced below for your follow-up) adds that on-site massage is cheaper than vacation and child care benefits, and more than a low-cost office perk. It goes on to say that on-site massage reduces work-related stress, improves alertness, performance and productivity, and even keeps people feeling well enough to stay at work when they would rather go home.

HR Magazine recently published a story about massage that describes various corporate wellness programs, all of which include on-site massage as an employee benefit. Some of these programs are new; some have been in place for years. All are successful. Employees are feeling less stress, are more productive on the job and are less likely to take unplanned time off from work. The positive effect of massage in the workplace reaches everyone.

Association Management Magazine reports that The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans of Brookfield, WI conducted research on this subject and found that nearly 20% of employers now provide coverage for one or more alternative health benefits such as massage therapy.
From magazines to television to the Internet, media of all kinds are spreading the word about massage. Many employers are getting the message and implementing wellness programs that include on-site massage.

From the February, 2000 issue of E-Touch, a newsletter of the American Massage Therapy Association.