In 2019, a scientific article titled “Mindfulness on-the-go: Effects of a mindfulness meditation app on work stress and well-being” was published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology by an American-British team of researchers led by Bostock. It is essential to note the profile orientation of the authoritative journal, which supports the high scientific relevance and validity of the chosen study. However, the researchers individually also carry academic weight and represent the widely respected University College London and the University of San Francisco. Additional analysis of the authors’ thematic focus showed their competence in the issue under investigation, as fundamental categories of research included psychology, mental health, and behavioral sciences. Within the framework of the article under discussion, however, Bostock et al. (2019) evaluated the potential functional benefits of using meditative techniques implemented with a smartphone on reducing workload in employees.
At a minimum, the vectors of interest assessed in the authors’ work were decreased work stress, stabilization of blood pressure, and improved psychological well-being of employees. Indicators such as social support, mindfulness, and work stress were also measured. Thus, at the heart of the entire study was a profound recognition of the negative factors that occupational stress has. According to Bostock et al. (2019), the impact of stress can be detrimental not only to the mental health of the employee but also to the productivity and operational effectiveness of the entire company. The experimental intervention was based on the principles of a randomized trial in which an initial sample of 238 employees in two British companies were asked to use a specific mobile app. The features of the Headspace® app provided individuals with the opportunity to receive medium-length (up to 20 minutes) audio clips of recorded meditation practices: only one meditation per day was required. Results were measured initially — to gather material for the baseline — as well as 8 and 16 weeks after the start of the social experiment.
An essential result of the experiment under discussion was the reliable evidence of the high effectiveness of the Headspace® mobile app in significantly reducing occupational stress levels among office workers. As a significant consequence, this means that by using a personal smartphone, the employee is able to self-manage work stress, which removes some of the responsibility from the company. This experience was accompanied by flexibility and usability, which is also crucial for adapting the app to the specific interests of the user. The perception of social support combined with psychological well-being also increased comparably at the end of the experiment, and the level of perceived tension at work decreased. Moreover, no statistically significant results were shown for blood pressure. In fact, during the day — on the fact of the meditative practice — this index decreased, but it is not possible to state with sufficient certainty the validity of the relationship between the two.
As a general consequence, this article has shown the high effectiveness of using a mobile app on an employee’s personal smartphone to reduce the level of occupational stress. Work stress is characterized by a high destructive impact on the mental health of employees and the productivity of the company as a whole, so this study had high relevance. Thus, it showed that perceived stress could be managed, and meditative practices are a good tool for this.
Bostock, S., Crosswell, A. D., Prather, A. A., & Steptoe, A. (2019). Mindfulness on-the-go: Effects of a mindfulness meditation app on work stress and well-being. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 24(1), 127-133.