Physical relaxation for occupational stress in healthcare workers: A systematic review and network meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
Journal of occupational health. 2021;(1):e12243
OBJECTIVES Work related stress is a major occupational health problem that is associated with adverse effects on physical and mental health. Healthcare workers are particularly vulnerable in the era of COVID-19. Physical methods of stress relief such as yoga and massage therapy may reduce occupational stress. The objective of this systematic review and network meta-analysis is to determine the effects of yoga, massage therapy, progressive muscle relaxation, and stretching on alleviating stress and improving physical and mental health in healthcare workers. METHODS Databases were searched for randomized controlled trials on the use of physical relaxation methods for occupational stress in healthcare workers with any duration of follow-up. Meta-analysis was performed for standard mean differences in stress measures from baseline between subjects undergoing relaxation vs non-intervention controls. Network meta-analysis was conducted to determine the best relaxation method. RESULTS Fifteen trials representing 688 healthcare workers were identified. Random-effects meta-analysis shows that physical relaxation methods overall reduced measures of occupational stress at the longest duration of follow-up vs baseline compared to non-intervention controls (SMD -0.53; 95% CI [-0.74 to -0.33]; p < .00001). On network meta-analysis, only yoga alone (SMD -0.71; 95% CI [-1.01 to -0.41]) and massage therapy alone (SMD -0.43; 95% CI [-0.72 to -0.14]) were more effective than control, with yoga identified as the best method (p-score = .89). CONCLUSION Physical relaxation may help reduce occupational stress in healthcare workers. Yoga is particularly effective and offers the convenience of online delivery. Employers should consider implementing these methods into workplace wellness programs.
Potential benefits of Yoga in pregnancy-related complications during the COVID-19 pandemic and implications for working women.
Work (Reading, Mass.). 2020;(2):269-279
BACKGROUND Pregnancy is a vulnerable period of growth and enrichment along with many physiological and psychological challenges. These changes can lead to complications if compounded by external stress and anxiety. COVID-19 has emerged as a chief stressor among the general population and is a serious threat among vulnerable populations. Therefore, there is a need for stress management tools, such as Yoga and physical exercises, both at home and at work. These can be adopted during the pandemic with proper maintenance of social distancing. OBJECTIVE To evaluate and compile literature that has reported the health outcomes of Yoga intervention on pregnancy at the workplace and analyzes both the restrictions as well as advantages of its beneficial effects in comparison to physical exercises. METHODOLOGY A comprehensive literature review was conducted utilizing PubMed and Google Scholar. The keywords used for the search include "Yoga", "work", "complications", "physical exercise", "drugs" and "COVID" indifferent permutations and combinations with "pregnancy". We compiled the literature with respect to pregnancy complications and the effects of drugs, physical activity and Yoga for preventing these complications. RESULTS We noted that pregnancy-related complications are becoming more prevalent because of a sedentary lifestyle, restricted physical activity and growing stress. In such situations, a home or workplace Yoga protocol can combine both exercise and mindfulness-based alleviation of anxiety for both working and non-working women. CONCLUSION Yoga can be effective for combating stress and anxiety besides boosting immunity in pregnant working women confronted with the COVID-19 pandemic.