University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, stress has increased exponentially in undergraduate populations. The current study sought to determine the efficacy of an eight-week relaxation intervention, using a free meditation app to reduce perceived stress and increase baseline heart rate variability (HRV) of undergraduate students, compared to using a traditional relaxation intervention across the same period. Participants (N = 14) were randomized into either a meditation app group or self-directed diaphragmatic breathing group and were instructed to engage in their respective relaxation technique ten minutes daily for eight weeks. Pre- and post-intervention differences in perceived stress and HRV were examined, along with user satisfaction with the type of intervention. Perceived stress was significantly reduced in both groups. However, participants used the meditation app for a comparatively longer period of time and enjoyed the meditation app more than diaphragmatic breathing exercises. While there was no change in baseline HRV for either group, the percent change in HRV was significantly higher in the meditation app group. The results highlight the effectiveness of mobile phone meditation apps in reducing perceived stress in college students and suggest the app may be better at maintaining adherence amongst users when compared to traditional self-guided methods.
Degenhard, Samuel M.
"Mobile phone mindfulness: Effects of app-based meditation intervention on stress and HRV of undergraduate students,"
Modern Psychological Studies: Vol. 29:
1, Article 1.
Available at: https://scholar.utc.edu/mps/vol29/iss1/1