Can meditation improve workplace wellness?

In 2011, 40% of all work-related illness was caused by stress, whereas 20% of British adults were stressed as a result of their work. Moreover, 69% of American employees report that work is a significant source of stress and 41% of employees typically feel stressed out during the workday.

Between 2011 and 2012, 10.4 million working days were lost in Great Britain due to work-related stress. Whereas, stress together with other work-related mental health issues, costs the British economy up to £26 billion per year.

The consequences of stress at work impacts health as well as the economy. Psychopathology, somatic illness, work-related injury, and mortality are some of its negative effects on health. Whereas, reduced productivity, absenteeism, presenteeism, high staff turn-over, unsafe driving, and employee compensation affects the socioeconomic aspects.

Mindfulness-based techniques have been shown to be effective in treating a broad range of psychological disorders including:

  1. mood disorders,

  2. anxiety disorders,

  3. substance use disorders,

  4. behavioural addictions,

  5. eating disorders, and

  6. sleep disorders

as well as somatic illnesses, such as

  1. chronic pain,

  2. fibromyalgia,

  3. irritable bowel syndrome, and

  4. cancer.

Chiesa, Calati, & Serretti, 2011 have shown its improvements in cognitive function and task performance in healthy adults. Moreover, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA), have recommended and supported mindfulness-based interventions for the treatment of specific forms of depression in adults.


Due to its benefits in #wellbeing, #meditation is one of the recent interventions used in corporate wellness programs. It is construed as a spiritual and introspective practice that involves elements of both concentration and analysis as a process of becoming aware of and training the mind.

However, these interventions are generally presented in a secular arrangement in order to make them more palatable within non-religious settings such as clinics, organizations, or educational institutions.

Ho in 2011 found that the employee meditation experience was positively associated with self-directed learning, organizational innovativeness, and organizational performance in Taiwanese technological company workers. Whereas, Allen and Kiburz in 2012 found that trait mindfulness was positively associated with work-life balance, sleep quality, and vitality. Significant reductions in levels of stress and depression-dejection were estimated in the participants who followed meditation training, from a study by Monocha et al in 2011.

In conclusion, these interventions improve employee levels of work- wellbeing and job satisfaction as well as focus on facilitating a perceptual shift in how employees relate to and experience their work and psychological environment.

Source: Meditation awareness training (MAT) for work-related wellbeing and job performance:
Shonin, E. 2014
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