Calling all desk-based workers: improve your wellbeing and productivity with Kingston University

I’ve just come to the close of an incredible eight-week yoga research programme with Kingston University, designed to study the effectiveness of yoga in improving the wellbeing and productivity of desk-based workers. It focuses on the impact of yoga in alleviating musculoskeletal discomfort and supporting mental health, engagement, and performance at work. 

The programme delivered so many benefits. I attended three online group sessions per week taught by an exceptional yoga teacher in Goa, India. The mix of gentle movement, meditation and breathwork really helped instil a sense of calm and a time to relax and tune into our bodies. It helped with relieving tension built up over the day from being so sedentary at a desk. The sessions followed a similar structure each class which really helped get into a familiar rhythm and to acknowledge your own progress.

Weekly emails from the project leader, Vipin Wadhen, Doctoral Student – Employee Wellbeing, Mind-body therapies, Yoga, Mindfulness at Kingston University, were so insightful and provided a depth of education about the history of yoga, styles and more profound meaning. Every week I learnt something new.

How the yoga programme benefitted me

At first, I wondered if I could slow down enough to enjoy this process. It was a challenge for me to drop down a few gears but I’m so glad I did. Dedicating three hours a week to this study was beneficial for me in so many ways:

  • I tuned into my body. I realised I had a lot of tight niggling muscles that were hampering flexibility.
  • My right shoulder was no longer tight and painful. This had previously been a problem for some time.
  • I learnt to breathe properly! Something the adult population rarely does.
  • I realised some valuable life lessons during insightful readings and thought-provoking stories.
  • I calmed my mind. I learned to switch off – something so rare in a world that is always ‘on’.
  • Doing heart rate variable (HRV) readings really opened my eyes. It helped me understand when I needed to rest.
  • I learned a lot, such as yoga poses and why we do them, and what parts of the body they support. The education was far more than any other yoga class I’ve attended. It settled the ‘why’ for so many questions.
  • Having these sessions in the diary made me accountable. I could no longer prioritise other tasks above my own self-care.
  • I enjoyed myself! This was a great experience that I want to shout about from the roof tops.

It’s your turn to get involved – no experience necessary

The next course is starting in June for eight weeks. It is simple and suitable for all levels – no previous yoga experience is required, nor fancy yoga kits (you can even do it in jeans if you need to, although this wouldn’t be my first choice!). The classes build progressively over the eight weeks, incorporating physical postures, breathing techniques and relaxation. They are super enjoyable, there’s no 0-60.

As Vipin said: “Time truly flies when you’re immersed in something meaningful.” The eight-week course flew by. While it does require dedication, the benefits it offers make this an extremely rewarding opportunity. I promise you won’t regret it.

Please contact Vipin Wadhen for further information:

Vipin Wadhen

Doctoral Student – Employee Wellbeing, Mind-body therapies, Yoga, Mindfulness, Kingston University.