Mindfulness research

Research data Extracted from Evidence for Mindfulness: A Research Summary for the Corporate Sceptic Friday, March 25, 2016 – by  Theo Winter  

Case studies

Title: There’s No Price Tag on a Clear Mind: Intel to Launch Mindfulness Program
Publication: The Guardian (
source)
Author: Kristine A. Wong
Date: April 2014

Awake@Intel is a mindfulness program that Intel plans to make available to over 100,000 employees in 63 countries. To date, 1,500 employees have taken part, having completed 19 sessions. The results so far: “On average, participants responding to pre- and post- self-evaluation questionnaires report a 2-point decrease (on a 10-point scale) in experiencing stress and feeling overwhelmed, a 3-point increase in overall happiness and wellbeing, and a 2-point increase in having new ideas and insights, mental clarity, creativity, the ability to focus, the quality of relationships at work and the level of engagement in meetings, projects and collaboration efforts.”

Title: At Aetna, a C.E.O.’s Management by Mantra
Publication: The New York Times (
source)
Author: David Gelles
Date: February 2015

At the American health insurer, Aetna, nearly 15,000 employees have participated in at least one yoga or meditation class “and those who have report, on average, a 28 percent reduction in their stress levels, a 20 percent improvement in sleep quality and a 19 percent reduction in pain. They also become more effective on the job, gaining an average of 62 minutes per week of productivity each, which Aetna estimates is worth $3,000 per employee per year.” Further to these benefits, in 2012 medical claims dropped by 7.3 percent, which amounted to a $9 million saving for the company.

Title: The Mind Business
Publication: The Financial Times (
source)
Author: David Gelles
Date: August 2012

The multinational manufacturer, General Mills, has had over 500 employees attend their Mindful Leadership program, created by General Mills’ deputy general counsel, Janice Marturano. According to the company’s self-report data: “After one of Marturano’s seven-week courses, 83 percent of participants said they were ‘taking time each day to optimize my personal productivity’ – up from 23 percent before the course. 82 percent said they now make time to eliminate tasks with limited productivity value – up from 32 percent before the course. And among senior executives who took the course, 80 percent reported a positive change in their ability to make better decisions, while 89 percent said they became better listeners.”

Title: Why Mindfulness Works Wonders
Publication: L&D Professional (
source)
Author: John Hilton
Date: February 2016

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), a global law firm with around 5,000 employees, was the first company to launch a mindfulness program in the Australian legal industry. Approximately 200 employees have gone through the 6-week HSF mindfulness program in the last 14 months. Some of the results from the 6-week program include: “a 12 percent increase in employee focus; a 10 percent increase in employee performance; a 10 percent increase in employee efficiency; a 17 percent increase in employee work/life balance; an 11 percent increase in employee communication skills; a 14 percent decrease in employee multitasking.”

Title: The Effects of Mindfulness Meditation Training on Multitasking in a High-Stress Information Environment
Publication: Human Relations (
source)
Author: Levy, Wobbrock, Kaszniak, and Ostergren
Date: 2012

“Three groups each of 12-15 human resources personnel were tested: 1) those who underwent an eight-week training course on mindfulness-based meditation, 2) those who endured a wait period, were tested, and then underwent the same eight-week training, and 3) those who had eight weeks of training in body relaxation. We found that only those trained in meditation stayed on tasks longer and made fewer task switches, as well as reporting less negative emotion after task performance, as compared with the other two groups. In addition, both the meditation and the relaxation groups showed improved memory for the tasks they performed.”

Title: Mindfulness Training Improves Working Memory Capacity and GRE Performance While Reducing Mind Wandering
Publication: Psychological Science (
source)
Author: Mrazek,
Franklin, Phillips, Baird, and Schooler
Date: March 2013

“In a randomized controlled investigation, we examined whether a two-week mindfulness-training course would decrease mind wandering and improve cognitive performance. Mindfulness training improved both GRE reading-comprehension scores and working memory capacity while simultaneously reducing the occurrence of distracting thoughts during completion of the GRE and the measure of working memory… Our results suggest that cultivating mindfulness is an effective and efficient technique for improving cognitive function, with wide-reaching consequences.”

Title: Mindfulness Goes to Work: Impact of an Online Workplace Intervention
Publication: Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine (source)
Author: Aikens, Astin, Pelletier, Levanovich, Baase, Park, and Bodnar
Date: July 2014

Eighty-nine (89) participants from the Dow Chemical Company were selected and randomly assigned to an online mindfulness intervention (n = 44) or wait-list control (n = 45). The results of the intervention found “the group had significant decreases in perceived stress as well as increased mindfulness, resiliency, and vigor. This online mindfulness intervention seems to be both practical and effective in decreasing employee stress, while improving resiliency, vigor, and work engagement, thereby enhancing overall employee well-being.”

Title: Examining Workplace Mindfulness and Its Relations to Job Performance and Turnover Intention
Publication: Human Relations (
source)
Author: Dane and Drummel
Date: January 2014

“In recent years, research on mindfulness has burgeoned across several lines of scholarship. Nevertheless, very little empirical research has investigated mindfulness from a workplace perspective… Testing these claims in a dynamic service industry context, we  find support for a positive relationship between workplace mindfulness and job performance that holds even when accounting for all three work engagement dimensions.”

Title: Examining the Protective Effects of Mindfulness Training on Working Memory Capacity and Affective Experience
Publication: Emotion (source)
Author: Jha and Stanley
Date: 2010

The effects of mindfulness training on working memory capacity in high stress environments were investigated in relation to a military unit (n = 31). Two control groups were included: one military (n = 17) and one civilian (n = 12). Within the military unit, working memory increased in proportion to the amount of mindfulness practice, while the civilian control group remained stable and the military control group showed decreased capacity. The authors concluded that “working memory capacity may be bolstered by mindfulness training” and the training may also “protect against functional impairments associated with high-stress contexts.” The study was the first to empirically examine the protective effects of mindfulness training within the context of pre-deployment military.

Title: Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Schools—A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Publication: Frontiers in Psychology (source)
Author: Zenner, Herrnleben-Kurz, and Walach
Date: June 2014

“We systematically reviewed the evidence regarding the effects of school-based mindfulness interventions on psychological outcomes, using a comprehensive search strategy designed to locate both published and unpublished studies… In total, 1348 students were instructed in mindfulness, with 876 serving as controls, ranging from grade 1 to 12… All in all, mindfulness-based interventions in children and youths hold promise, particularly in relation to improving cognitive performance and resilience to stress.

Title: Mindfulness Can Literally Change Your Brain
Publication: Harvard Business Review(source)
Author: Congleton, Hölzel, and Lazar
Date: January 2015

“This year [2015], a team of scientists from the University of British Columbia and the Chemnitz University of Technology were able to pool data from more than 20 studies to determine which areas of the brain are consistently affected [by mindfulness training]. They identified at least 8 different regions… Neuroscientists have also shown that practicing mindfulness affects brain areas related to perception, body awareness, pain tolerance, emotion regulation, introspection, complex thinking, and sense of self. While more research is needed to document these changes over time and to understand underlying mechanisms, the converging evidence is compelling.”