Most people think about massage as a good way to deal with stress. And according to Eastern Kentucky University’s online Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety program, health care and missed work days caused by workplace stress cost companies in the US about $300 billion every year. It makes sense then, to introduce measures that will help stressed employees deal with the physical, mental and emotional effects that stress (in and out of the workplace) can have on them.

AOL Media has already successfully introduced free in-office yoga to help relax its employees, and where the Fortune 500 companies lead, the rest of us will usually follow. It really does work – the more supported your workforce feels, the more likely they are to remain loyal, stay in the job and not ‘take a sickie’ just because they’ve had enough. So what can you do to help your employees de-stress at work? Yoga might not appeal to everyone, but most people appreciate a massage.

In-office massage and chair massage programs are one way forward that’s relatively inexpensive – and compared to the amount it might cost you to have an employee go on long-term sick leave with a stress-related illness, it’s positively cheap. Research backs up the positive effects of massage therapy on performance as well as mental alertness, so you can look forward to better productivity and accuracy as well as less sick leave to worry about. It’s not just about stress. Although we think of stress as being the number one condition that massage can help with, many office workers also experience physical symptoms from desk work – and the same applies to factory, warehouse and even driving staff whose work can lead to musculoskeletal injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. These injuries can lead to staff having to take time off sick and are to blame for almost a third of all workers’ compensation awards. Massage can help reduce the risk of developing this type of injury, which means less absenteeism, fewer compensation claims, and less cost to employers.