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Prevalence of Mindfulness Practices in the US Workforce: National Health Interview Survey
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    Prev Chronic Dis
  • Description:

    Mindfulness-based practices can improve workers’ health and reduce employers’ costs by ameliorating the negative effect of stress on workers’ health. We examined the prevalence of engagement in 4 mindfulness-based practices in the US workforce.


    We used 2002, 2007, and 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data for adults (aged ≥18 y, n = 85,004) to examine 12-month engagement in meditation, yoga, tai chi, and qigong among different groups of workers.


    Reported yoga practice prevalence nearly doubled from 6.0% in 2002 to 11.0% in 2012 (P < .001); meditation rates increased from 8.0% in 2002 to 9.9% in 2007 (P < .001). In multivariable models, mindfulness practice was significantly lower among farm workers (odds ratio [OR] = 0.42; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.21–0.83]) and blue-collar workers (OR = 0.63; 95% CI, 0.54–0.74) than among white-collar workers.


    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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