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See what you can accomplish when you focus on a problem 'This seems to be the result from an Italian study of office aches and pains' namely headaches, neck and shoulder pains. Results of this interesting study were published in this months's issue of Cephlalagia. This was called an 'employee initiative' program, but apparantly, none of the employees were given any incentive to participate, except for the slim chance that they wouldn?t have as much pain when at work.

That seemsed to be enough.

Roll Out The Numbers

In case you let your subscription to Cephalalgia lapse, here is a really quick round up of the main points:

384 office workers in Turin volunteered, with about half beign a control group. 80% were women. The average age of a volunteer was 46.
The study lasted eight months. The employees in the non-control group kept a daily headache journal and did relaxation exercises every two to three hours of their work day. They also had twice dailt 10-15 minutes rest breaks just sitting in an armchair with warming pads placed on their cheeks and shoulders.
Incredible results: 51% reported that they took less painkillers at the end of the study than when they began
Also, 41% less headaches at the end of the study than at the beginning
"Our study clearly shows that workplace interventions can reduce headaches and neck and shoulder pain. The methods adopted were relatively simple and the positive response from the employees, including the low study drop-out rate, suggest that it would prove popular in other workplaces. We also believe that employers would support this low-cost initiative as it would improve productivity in the workplace." Professor Franco Mongini of the Headache and Facial Pain Unit at the University of Turin

The Practical Upshot

If you get headaches, neck aches and shoulder pains iat work, move to Italy.

No, seriously  this is a very promising study with results to make people's lives just a wee bit less stressful. This study centered on office workers, but I imagine it could also be used for food service, retail and teaching jobs. It would take a big mind-shift in the attitudes of employers to let their employees get up and stretch which looks like goofing off. But, quite frankly, the managers probably need to do the stretching exercises as much as much as their underlings.

Following the study's journal, heating pad and stretching regimen would be much cheaper (and a lot more legal) than giving your employees meth, which is what some Asian employees reportedly do to get intense (but breif) workloads from their new employees (at least, that's what National Geographic says).

Hope this helps.

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