Mindfulness Training Reduces Stress at Work: a Randomized Controlled Trial

Abstract

Mindfulness-based interventions have been suggested as one way to improve employee well-being in the workplace. Despite these purported benefits, there have been few well-controlled randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating mindfulness training in the workplace. Here, we conducted a two-arm RCT at work among employees of a digital marketing firm comparing the efficacy of a high-dose 6-week mindfulness training to a low-dose single-day mindfulness training for improving multiple measures of employee well-being assessed using ecological momentary assessment. High-dose mindfulness training reduced both perceived and momentary stress, and buffered employees against worsened affect and decreased coping efficacy compared to low-dose mindfulness training. These results provide well-controlled evidence that mindfulness training programs can reduce momentary stress at work, suggesting that more intensive mindfulness training doses (i.e., 6 weeks) may be necessary for improving workplace well-being outcomes. This RCT utilizes a novel experience sampling approach to measure the effects of a mindfulness intervention on employee well-being and considers potential dose-response effects of mindfulness training at work.

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Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

BC: Performed the data analysis, wrote the paper. JS: Executed the study, assisted with the data analysis, assisted with designing the study, collaborated in writing and editing of the manuscript. JR: Assisted with executing the study, wrote part of the methods, collaborated in writing and editing of the manuscript. JDC: Designed the study, supervised execution of the study, supervised data analysis, supervised manuscript preparation.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to John David Creswell.

Ethics declarations

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants in this study. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Carnegie Mellon University Institutional Review Board and the American Psychological Association.

Conflict of Interest

JR is a senior trainer with Unified Mindfulness. BC, JS, and JDC declare no conflict of interest.

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Chin, B., Slutsky, J., Raye, J. et al. Mindfulness Training Reduces Stress at Work: a Randomized Controlled Trial. Mindfulness 10, 627–638 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-018-1022-0

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Keywords

  • Mindfulness
  • Stress
  • Coping
  • Well-being