People are beginning to understand why massages in the workplace are good for their health, according to a corporate company specialising in the treatment.

While it used to be seen as a luxury experience on spa holidays, massage is now acceptable in the working environment, according to the On Site Massage Company.

The organisation says a relaxing programme at work can reduce stress which in turn can decrease the risk-factors related to heart disease.

Karl Monahan, business development manager at the company, says the attitude towards the activity has changed and people are realising the full benefits of it.

"A ten, 15, 20 minute massage in the office reduces stress and if you’re reducing people’s tension levels then they are going to be a lot more productive," he added.

The company also revealed chronic work stress is associated with coronary heart disease, especially in men and women under 50 years old.

According to a survey, the current average level of employee absence is eight days, which is a slight reduction from 8.4 sick days taken last year.