Title of Abstract

Assessment of well-being using Fitbit technology in college students, faculty, and staff performing breathing meditation

Submitting Student(s)

Lily Garcia
Leslie Facio
Shea Ferguson

Session Title

Xoral Awards Final Round

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

Courtney Guenther, Ph.D.; Laura Glasscock, Ph.D.; David Schary, Ph.D.; & Michael Lipscomb, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Biology

Abstract

Stress is a common occurrence among higher education populations, and recently, there has been an unprecedented increase in stress and anxiety stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Mindfulness can help reduce anxiety and stress and may be a beneficial resource for students, faculty, and staff. Additionally, breathing meditation and physical activity may both increase the ability to cope with a range of different mental health stressors. Therefore, our study aimed to better understand the intersection of mindfulness, physical activity, and well-being within higher education populations amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants included college students, faculty, and staff (n = 34). Participants’ physical activity levels, heart rate, and sleep were monitored for two weeks using Fitbit, a fitness tracking device. Participants also completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Mental Health Continuum Short-Form (MHC-SF), Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ), and the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) at baseline and immediately after completing the study. Comparisons were made between participants who completed breathing meditation exercises for five minutes a day for one week using the Relax app on the Fitbit (n=17) and a control group, who wore the Fitbit, but did not perform any breathing meditation exercises (n=17). Our results indicated that participants in the treatment group who completed breathing meditation had significantly decreased anxiety scores compared to the control group; however, mindfulness scores were not significantly different for either group. Overall, the evidence suggests that engaging in brief breathing meditation may improve overall well-being among college students, faculty, and staff.

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

Assessment of well-being using Fitbit technology in college students, faculty, and staff performing breathing meditation

Stress is a common occurrence among higher education populations, and recently, there has been an unprecedented increase in stress and anxiety stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Mindfulness can help reduce anxiety and stress and may be a beneficial resource for students, faculty, and staff. Additionally, breathing meditation and physical activity may both increase the ability to cope with a range of different mental health stressors. Therefore, our study aimed to better understand the intersection of mindfulness, physical activity, and well-being within higher education populations amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants included college students, faculty, and staff (n = 34). Participants’ physical activity levels, heart rate, and sleep were monitored for two weeks using Fitbit, a fitness tracking device. Participants also completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Mental Health Continuum Short-Form (MHC-SF), Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ), and the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) at baseline and immediately after completing the study. Comparisons were made between participants who completed breathing meditation exercises for five minutes a day for one week using the Relax app on the Fitbit (n=17) and a control group, who wore the Fitbit, but did not perform any breathing meditation exercises (n=17). Our results indicated that participants in the treatment group who completed breathing meditation had significantly decreased anxiety scores compared to the control group; however, mindfulness scores were not significantly different for either group. Overall, the evidence suggests that engaging in brief breathing meditation may improve overall well-being among college students, faculty, and staff.