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Keep your business on the road to success with T’ai Chi…!

If you own a business, or are leading one, you know that your employees’ wellbeing is central to your company’s success. After all, they are the driving force that helps you achieve high levels of performance and profitability. And you need to take good care of them.

You also probably know that one of the most dreaded factors that may affect employees’ wellbeing is stress. This is true in all work settings and countries worldwide. And high levels of work-related stress inevitably lead to increased absenteeism and lower productivity.

Now, considerable amount of money goes into expensive stress-prevention programs, increasing the pressure on budgets already stretched by the current economic crisis. So, an American team of researchers from the University of Vermont has recently come up with a relatively inexpensive and easy-to-implement idea: using T’ai Chi as a way to protect employees from stress and, in turn, improve workplace attendance and performance.

To test the effectiveness of their idea, they asked a group of hospital nurses–one of the categories most at risk of work-related stress–to attend once weekly 45-minute T’ai Chi sessions at their place of work. The nurses also practiced T’ai Chi on their own, at least ten minutes per day, four times a week. After 15 weeks, the researchers compared this group with another group of nurses, similar in size and age, who did not practice T’ai Chi.

The results, published in the February 2012 issue of the journal Applied Nursing Research, speak for themselves. “The Tai Chi group took no unscheduled time-off hours, whereas, the control group was absent 49 hours during the study period,” says Dr. Mary Palumbo, who led the study. What’s more, improved employee wellbeing and reduced levels of absenteeism led, in the Tai Chi group, to “a 3% increase in work productivity.”

The bottom line? If you want to avoid the negative consequences of employee stress and keep your business on the road to success, T’ai Chi may well be one of the most effective, and least expensive, ways to do so.

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