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By Matthew Miller, PhD., Vice President, Behavior Science at StayWell

Stress is all but inevitable. Although some individuals may be more prone to stress than others, the reality is that most people have or will experience some form of stress at some point in their lives. 


Increasingly, stress is often caused by work-related pressures — overwhelming workloads, looming deadlines and the 24/7 always-on mentality that’s become common corporate culture in America. In fact, according to the American Institute of Stress, the cost of work-related stress in the US is $300 billion annually.

The good news? Many corporations are now incorporating mindfulness and meditation programs into their wellness programs, as a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that even small amounts of meditation can help combat stress. Through our recent acquisition of Provata Health, we’ve adopted a groundbreaking virtual reality (VR) guided meditation platform designed to not only help reduce stress, but to also help prevent it from occurring in the first place. 

In addition to stress reduction, VR meditation has proven to provide many other valuable benefits to individuals that ultimately impact their workplace productivity and the bottom line, including:

  • Heightened attention span
    Meditation can increase strength and endurance of an individual’s attention span. In fact, a recent clinical study revealed that employees who regularly practice mindfulness meditation focus on a task longer and remember details of their task longer than peers not practicing meditation. Another similar study concluded that meditation may even reverse brain patterns that contribute to mind-wandering, worry and poor attention to details.
  • Combat insomnia, improve sleep
    The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults under 65 years old get between seven to nine hours of sleep per night, yet 30% of adult employees report fewer than six hours of sleep nightly. Poor sleep habits have been tied to stress and work productivity. In a recent employer sleep study we conducted among 600,000 employees, those who reported “almost always” feeling tired during the day averaged 2.7 times more days absent and 4.4 times more productivity loss than employees who reported “almost never” feeling tired. Clinical studies have shown that meditation can help alleviate insomnia and improve sleep.
At StayWell, we believe that mental and physical health are fundamentally interconnected. That’s why we incorporate the science of behavior change into our corporate wellness programs and continually offer new and innovative solutions that aim to support the whole individual – both mentally and physically.

To learn more about how you can integrate guided meditation into your population health strategy, check out Provata VR from StayWell. or register for one of our upcoming webinars.