The Sport and Wellness Research Lab provides a platform for multi-disciplinary research that integrates cutting edge technology (e.g., MRI) to explore exercise-induced effects on the health and wellbeing of students and the general population.
NYUAD offers great potential for new and innovative research in the areas of sports and exercise Science, given the university's rich diversity of existing research, the facilities on hand, and the established agreements with hospitals and off-campus facilities.
Researchers: Natascha Enriquez, Dipesh Chaudhury
Due to increasingly busy lifestyles, performance expectations and workloads “Stress” and “Mindfulness” have become buzz words in most societies. Adolescents are especially susceptible to perceived stress during university. Based on this background, different stress reduction programs, such as Mindfulness Meditation, general relaxation, and breathing protocols, have been quantified for their effectiveness in stress reduction.
This study investigated the effects of Mindfulness sessions on perceived stress and mental health with a group of college students. Twenty students participated in the crossover design study, and partook in 10 short, five min, mindfulness sessions over three weeks during the intervention phase. In the control phase, the subjects received emails with mindfulness exercises. Participants received a self-reported survey three times throughout the data collection phase via email (e.g., baseline, after crossover, and after experiencing both intervention and control). The questionnaire focused on measuring different domains, such as perceived stress, depression, and overall quality of life. Twelve students further participated in a focus group discussion, exploring possibilities and benefits of inclusions of mindfulness exercises into academic classes.
Significantly different scores were found in the perceived stress and depression rating (measured via DASS – 21) when comparing pre- and post-intervention scores. This was also reflected in the group discussion, where participants reported a lessened stress perception during the rest of the day after the interventions and a feeling of heightened control over their emotional state.
The findings of this study should be expanded upon in further research to verify the benefits of even very short mindfulness interventions.