On a more positive note, the respondents actually indicated an improvement in overall wellbeing upon making certain lifestyle changes during the period of the study.
Following a challenging time for teachers, which saw working hours increase and physical and mental health decline, mental health and wellness platform MindFi undertook a study in partnership with Fitbit to investigate the impact of wellness technologies on a user's health in Singapore.
The 10-week study integrated the MindFi app with Fitbit devices to track the progress and lifestyle changes of the participants, including activity level, sleep, and heart rate, against user-reported metrics and question responses such as mood and general wellness.
The study found that teachers showed signs of anxiety and stress before the school term. Specifically, 61% of the participants reported that they were suffering from high levels of emotional exhaustion approaching a new school term, while 53% were having moderate to high-stress levels.
On a more positive note, the respondents indicated an improvement in overall wellbeing upon using a combined solution between the wellness platform and wearable device. Close to two-thirds (60%) of the teachers who used the integrated solution regularly saw significant improvement in their overall wellbeing, whilst 42% improved their physical wellbeing through the course of the study. A further 54% reported better sleep quality and 45% showed an improvement in their resting heart rate.
Regular use also had a positive impact on a user’s mental health - 58% of the participants reported a decrease in depressive symptoms, with an average reduction of 26% in assessment scores. The study reported reduced burnout by enabling teachers to improve their coping abilities, with 57% of the teachers who took part in the study seeing an improvement in their ability to cope with their workload, enabling them to be more productive at work and at home.
MIndFi Founder & CEO Bjorn Lee commented: "As strong advocates of mental health in the workplace, we believe that this pilot study emphasises the change that business leaders can make in their human resources (HR) policies.”
About the study
Teachers were particularly chosen as the study subject following an alarming nationwide survey by the Singapore Counseling Centre in 2021 which reported more than 80% of teachers’ mental health had been negatively impacted after two challenging years during the pandemic as a result of dealing with an increase in working hours and responsibilities. Participating teachers’ mental health and wellbeing were assessed using clinically validated questionnaires, including the World Health Organisation-Five WellBeing Index (WHO-5) before the study to set benchmarks and compared to post-intervention reported outcomes.
The users’ responses and the data obtained from the MindFi app and Fitbit were then analysed and interpreted by the MindFi’ research team which included resident psychologists.
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