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Vast majority of mindfulness app users say they boost their mental health

Vitality research suggests new tools have positive impact on wellbeing

More than eight in ten people believe mindfulness apps have been effective in improving their overall mental wellbeing, research shows.

Eighty six per cent of individuals surveyed for Vitality, the health and protection provider, found that the tools had a positive impact.

More than half (54%) of respondents to the survey said they use mindfulness apps to help relieve the symptoms of stress, while just under half (49%) practice the activity to improve their mental health.

Just over a third (34%) of respondents use mindfulness apps to boost their mood and just over one in 10 (11%) use them to improve productivity at work.

However, despite the positive benefits of using mindfulness apps on mental health and wellbeing, almost a fifth of respondents (19%) reported that they worry about being judged by friends and family if they were to find out they use them.

Almost one in five (18%) also said they feel embarrassed about using a mindfulness app around other people, and 15% admitted that their partner does not know they currently use an app.

Melissa Britton, a positive psychology practitioner and Vitality coach, said: “It is really concerning to see how many people are embarrassed to admit they use mindfulness apps. As this research shows, the popularity of these apps is growing rapidly and people who use them say they are seeing an improvement in their mental health. Good mental health brings benefits to our physical mental health and quality of life.”

The research also found that the most popular time to use a mindfulness app is just before bed (32%) with women (41%) more likely than men (30%) to use it to help improve their sleep (41% vs 30% respectively).

On average, respondents spend 13 minutes on a mindfulness app per session, with most respondents (33%) spending between six to 10 minutes practicing mindfulness during the session. Men (10%) are more likely than women (9%) to spend between 26 and 30 minutes practising mindfulness during a session.