Tag Archive for: employee benefits

The Role of Chair Massage in the Workplace

Chair massage was easily one of the most popular corporate wellness offerings prior to the pandemic. With the return to the office underway at many companies and levels of uncertainty, stress, and anxiety still running high, this employee favorite is making a well-deserved comeback.

Why do so many employees jump at the opportunity for a chair massage? One reason is that touch is powerful – we all need it to some degree. The lack of touch, or touch deprivation, is actually connected with negative health outcomes, including anxiety, depression, and immune system dysfunction.

During the crisis phase of the pandemic which had us isolating ourselves and social distancing like never before, collectively we learned just how much we need touch. Corporate HR, benefits, and wellness managers should be aware that it is something many of their employees have missed these past few years.

Benefits of Chair Massage at Work

Chair massage is known to reduce stress, decrease anxiety and depression, relieve muscle tension & headaches, increase focus and energy, improve sleep, lower blood pressure, increase immune function and improve range of motion.

Typically offered in 5-to-15-minute micro sessions, chair massage is a portable form of massage in which the therapist has access to the upper body including the head, neck, shoulders, back, arms, and hands. Massaging these areas reduces muscle tension, revives connective tissue, and energizes the individual.

Chair massage is a wonderful corporate wellness service for employers to provide employees who are experiencing chronic stress at work. For years now, scientifically supported studies (here and here, among the many) have shown that massage benefits employees in a multitude of ways, primarily through helping to mitigate the corrosive effects of work stress.

Lastly, though corporate chair massage can be offered as a one-off service, it will always be most beneficial when offered regularly and/or bundled with other holistic wellness services like yoga & movement classes, meditation & breathwork, nutrition talks & cooking demos, and employee wellness webinars.

When and Where to Offer Workplace Chair Massage

The best part of corporate chair massage service for employers is that, with a licensed massage therapist (LMT) coming right to your office, you’re bringing workplace wellbeing to your employees right where they are.

While chair massage can be offered anytime for any reason (trust us, you don’t need a special occasion to offer chair massage at your office – employees love it no matter the circumstances!) this service makes a great add-on to on-site health fairs, back-to-the-office parties, and other employee gatherings. It is a terrific way to say “thank you” to new and veteran employees alike after the many challenges of the past few years.

Scheduling regular, convenient chair massages at work is a wonderful way to eliminate employees’ excuses for self-care and in these present times can help decrease the stress of heading back to the office.

Chair Massage with Urban Balance

We partner with some of the most skilled and experienced professional massage therapists in the Portland metro area. Our LMTs are fully vaccinated and take all the appropriate COVID safety precautions, including wearing masks and sanitizing surfaces between clients.

Contact us today to set up a free consultation or schedule corporate chair massage services for your Portland, Oregon employees!



Urban Balance is the premier provider of comprehensive on-site corporate wellness services including massage in the Portland, Oregon metro area and offers virtual workplace wellness programming worldwide. We deliver livestream and on-demand classes, webinars, and special events to the workplace environment for happier employees and a healthier bottom line.

Browse our virtual wellness services catalog with offerings including yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Zumba, HIIT, Barre Sculpt, meditation, nutrition, learning opportunities, and more.

Discover the benefits of the Urban Balance on-demand video library, a workplace wellbeing solution with over 350+ holistic wellness classes. Includes membership options for companies and individuals.


4 Ways to Get Creative with your Employee Wellness Programming

At this point in the pandemic, when it comes to your virtual wellness offerings, maybe it feels like you’ve tried it all (and then some!) and aren’t quite sure how to pique your team’s interest. Need a little inspiration? If you’re looking for ways to keep your programming fresh and share gratitude with your employees as we head into 2022, here’s a list of fun event ideas to consider.

Virtual Wellness Retreats

Design a virtual wellness retreat experience tailored to your employees’ needs. This fully customizable option invites employees to enjoy all the relaxation, bliss, and centering of a wellness retreat within the safety of their own home or office. Companies that work with us can choose from any of the live or pre-recorded or classes in our catalog including movement, meditation, nutrition, wellness webinars, and more.

During these events, employees are encouraged to make their space a sanctuary and be as present as possible by disconnecting from work for the span of a few hours. Having some scheduled time away from their daily responsibilities could be just what your employees need to help feel nourished and re-charged for the new year.

Host a Virtual Wellness Week

If you’re looking to offer more of a multi-day experience with a diverse array of offerings spread out across several days, consider hosting a virtual wellness week.

With this type of event, we can help you customize a creative, informative, fun and interactive weeks’ worth of webinars. One possible way to structure the event is to focus on a different dimension of well-being each day for 5 days. Consider having 2-3 webinars live-streamed per day, and opt-in for recordings to send to employees who could not attend live. We will collaborate with you and with our skilled and experienced team of corporate wellness professionals to present a rich blend of webinars that will speak to mental, financial, physical, environmental and nutritional/social well-being.

This format has a high likelihood of sparking good conversation in the office (or virtual workspace), because it allows employees to steep in each topic for a little longer than usual. This extra time spent with the material can help guide employees toward meaningful change in their lives.

Virtual Health Fairs

Is your company planning a virtual health or benefits fair? These events are a great way to help employees take initiative over their well-being by showing up to interact with a variety of wellness experts as they learn about the benefits and services that are available to them.
Consider tying in benefits providers you haven’t worked with before to help keep things fresh. Offer a meditation session or movement class, or even a nutrition demo as part of the event. Providing opportunities for experiential learning through classes and webinars can help keep the event fun and informative while building community.

Substitute Your In-Person Holiday Gathering with Virtual Wellness Experiences

If your organization is unable to hold an in-person holiday gathering again this year, consider other ways you could bring employees together to appreciate their efforts and have a little fun. One of our favorite strategies is to offer a holiday-themed interactive cooking class where employees can cook with the instructor. You could also consider a virtual yoga class or a high-energy movement class like Zumba, HIIT, etc.

Whichever path you choose here are some general guidelines to help you design an experience that runs smoothly and ends up being meaningful for employees:

  • Meet employees where they are – make it relevant. Cater to your team’s wants and needs. Survey them. Give them two or 3 options to choose from. Find out what employees want and deliver! For instance, if you have a team that loves food, offer an interactive cooking class. If you’ve heard a lot of people say they’re burnt out or need a break, consider some gentle or restorative yoga, or group meditation session.
  • Make it interactive. have presenters ask engaging questions, offer fun prizes or other incentives for those who attend, and be sure to follow up with participants to see what their experience was like when all is said and done.
  • Give employees paid time to participate. This is one of the best ways to boost engagement and show employees that you are prioritizing their well-being.
  • Get the word out early and often. What is your department is doing to inform and remind employees of what is available to them? Employees may need to hear about wellness offerings several times before they really notice them and decide to participate.
  • Offer multiple ways to participate. Livestream classes are great for bringing people together in real-time and building community. Consider offering a recording for those who could not make it to the live session.
  • Build excitement around the offerings. To ensure employees show up to reap the benefits, really make it an event that employees won’t want to miss – make it “cool” to participate! Offer a drawing or other incentive or find other ways to create a little friendly competition.

In these times, there is no doubt that companies will need to be creative when it comes to supporting employee well-being. Think outside the box and let us know how we can support your remote or hybrid employees. We’d love to brainstorm with you to create an event that makes a difference in their lives!


Urban Balance is the premier provider of comprehensive on-site and virtual corporate wellness services in Portland, Oregon. We deliver yoga, Pilates, meditation, massage, nutrition and learning opportunities to the office environment for happier employees and a healthier bottom line.

Check out our catalog of Virtual Wellness Services here.