Yoga in the workplace and health outcomes: a systematic review.

Author: Puerto Valencia LM1,2, Weber A2, Spegel H2, Bögle R3,4, Selmani A2, Heinze S2,5, Herr C2,5
1Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology (IBE) at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany.
2Department of Occupational and Environmental Health/Epidemiology, Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority (LGL), Munich, Germany.
3Yoga Forum München e.V, Munich, Germany.
4Center for Behavioural Medicine, Kothrud, Pune, India.
5Institute and Outpatient Clinic for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Munich, Germany.
Conference/Journal: Occup Med (Lond).
Date published: 2019 Mar 18
Other: Pages: kqz033 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqz033. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 236

BACKGROUND: Health promotion in the workplace is intended to enhance employee health and well-being. Yoga programmes are easy to implement and have been effective in the management of various health conditions.

AIMS: To assess the evidence regarding the effectiveness of yoga programmes at work.

METHODS: A search of electronic databases of published studies up until the 1st of April 2017. Inclusion criteria for the systematic review were randomized controlled trials of adult employees and yoga in the workplace. Quality appraisal was carried out using the Cochrane Collaboration's tool for assessing risk of bias in randomized trials.

RESULTS: Of 1343 papers identified, 13 studies met the inclusion criteria. Nine out of 13 trials were classified as having an unclear risk of bias. The overall effects of yoga on mental health outcomes were beneficial, mainly on stress. Most of the cardiovascular endpoints showed no differences between yoga and controls. Other outcomes reported positive effects of yoga or no change.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study suggest that yoga has a positive effect on health in the workplace, particularly in reducing stress, and no negative effects were reported in any of the randomized controlled trials. Further larger studies are required to confirm this.

© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Occupational Medicine. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:

KEYWORDS: Employees; healthy population; randomized controlled trials; workplace; yoga

PMID: 30882860 DOI: 10.1093/occmed/kqz033