January 21, 2017 - Mindfulness-based practices can improve workers' health and reduce employers' costs by ameliorating the negative effect of stress on workers' health. In January, 2017, CDC released a report by Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami that examined the prevalence of engagement in 4 mindfulness-based practices in the US workforce.
The project used 2002, 2007, and 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data for adults to examine 12-month engagement in Meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong among different groups of workers.
While reported Yoga practice prevalence nearly doubled from 6.0% in 2002 to 11.0% in 2012; meditation rates increased from 8.0% in 2002 to 9.9% in 2007, the rates of engagement in the Tai Chi and Qigong did not substantially change during this period. The report points out that Tai Chi and Qigong are less known to public than Yoga. The study also found white-collar workers were more likely than blue-collar workers to engage in Tai Chi or Qigong.
The report thinks that worker groups with low rates of engagement in mindfulness practices could most benefit from workplace mindfulness interventions. Improving institutional factors limiting access to mindfulness-based wellness programs and addressing existing beliefs about mindfulness practices among underrepresented worker groups could help eliminate barriers to these programs.
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