Japanese university researchers have shown that acupuncture improves work performance when companies are prepared to spend money on treatment to benefit employees’ health problems. In a four week multi-centre trial, 203 participants, median age 46, who were aware that their performance was impaired by health concerns, were randomly assigned to one of two groups. The intervention group was provided with financial support to enable them to receive acupuncture, whilst the control group just followed workplace-recommended measures to address their impaired effectiveness.
In the intervention group, the most common issues were neck disorders, back disorders, followed by depression, anxiety and irritability. On average, participants received one therapy session during the four week observation period.
At the end of the trial, there was a statistically significant improvement in job performance by the intervention group compared with the control group. This improved performance was equivalent to a cost saving for the company of £76 per worker per month.