An 8-week relaxation program consisting of progressive muscle relaxation and mindfulness meditation to reduce stress and attenuate stress-driven eating

Masih, Tasmiah, Dimmock, James A., Guelfi, Kym J., and Epel, Elissa (2019) An 8-week relaxation program consisting of progressive muscle relaxation and mindfulness meditation to reduce stress and attenuate stress-driven eating. Applied Psychology: Health and Wellbeing. (In Press)

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View at Publisher Website: https://doi.org/10.1111/aphw.12179
 
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Abstract

Background: Stress is often associated with the intake of energy-dense palatable foods. This trial examined the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of an 8-week worksite-based relaxation intervention to address psychological stress and unhealthy food intake. Methods: Thirty-six men and women were exposed to an acute stressor, while physiological and psychological responses were assessed, prior to being offered a test meal. Participants were then randomised to a relaxation intervention (RELAX; face-to-face classes and daily home practice of progressive muscle relaxation and mindfulness meditation), or a wait-list control (CON). All measures were repeated after the intervention. Results: Intervention compliance was high (80% ± 19% face-to-face; 79% ± 18% home practice), and each session acutely reduced perceived stress (p <.001) and increased relaxation (p <.001). After 8 weeks, trait mindfulness was increased (p =.025), along with reduced tension (p =.013) and increased relaxation (p <.05) post-acute stressor in the intervention group. There was no effect of the intervention on palatable eating, cravings, or energy intake at a laboratory test meal, with small associated effect sizes (d = 0.01–0.3). Conclusions: The program studied here is feasible and sessions transiently reduce perceived stress and improve mindfulness; however, the program may not influence the physiological response to an acute stressor or appetite and eating variables.

Item ID: 61537
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1758-0854
Keywords: mindful, relaxation, stress-eating, stress management, worksite-based
Copyright Information: © 2019 The International Association of Applied Psychology
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2020 23:28
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920411 Nutrition @ 50%
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