Prevalence of mindfulness practices in the US Workforce: National Health Interview Survey

Diana Kachan, Henry Olano, Stacey L. Tannenbaum, Debra W. Annane, Ashwin Mehta, Kristopher Arheart, Lora E Fleming, Xuan Yang, Laura A. McClure, David J. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


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. Methods 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. Results 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. Conclusion 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number160034
JournalPreventing Chronic Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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