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Monday, 9 July 2012

Meditation and Exercise Training Associated with Reduced Acute Respiratory Illness Burden

Training in mindfulness meditation and sustained moderate-intensity exercise are associated with reduced illness severity and fewer days of missed work from acute respiratory infections. A study of 149 patients randomized to one of three study groups: 8-week training in mindfulness meditation, matched 8-week training in moderate intensity sustained exercise or observational control found substantial reductions in ARI illness among those randomized to exercise training and even greater benefits among those receiving mindfulness meditation training. Incidence, duration and global severity of ARI illness were 29 percent, 43 percent and 31 percent lower, respectively, in the exercise group, and 33 percent, 43 percent and 60 percent lower, respectively, in the mindfulness group, compared with the control group. Implications for the workplace, the authors note, may be especially important. Compared with the control group, all-cause absenteeism was 31 percent lower in both intervention groups. Looking at ARI-related absenteeism in particular, there were 48 percent fewer days missed in the exercise group, and 76 percent fewer in the meditation group. The authors assert these findings are especially notable given that no ARI prevention strategies, apart from hand washing, have ever been proven.
Source:Meditation or Exercise for Preventing Acute Respiratory Infection: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
By Bruce Barrett, MD, PhD, et al 
University of Wisconsin, Madison

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