Ponce, A.N., Lorber, W., Paul, J.J. Esterlis, I., Barzvi, A., Allen, G.J., & Pescatello, L.S. (2008). Comparisons of varying dosages of relaxation in a corporate setting: Effects on stress reduction. International Journal of Stress Management, 15, 396-407. Doi: 10.1037/a0013992.
Aim. Examine the effects of progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) and mini-relaxation (MR) on stress in a corporate workplace.
Method. Study 1. 104 employees received up to 3 PMR sessions of 7, 15, or 25 minutes; they recorded stress level (from 0-100) before and after each session, and the practice frequency between sessions
Study 2. 120 employees were provided with two-sessions of either PMR (15 minutes) or MR (four 1.5-2 minute breaks); they rated stress level before and after each session, and practice frequency between sessions.
Results. Study 1. 25 minutes of PMR predicted the most stress reduction, but shorter PMR also significantly reduced stress. More practice between workshops resulted in greater stress reduction.
Study 2. Both PMR and MR predict significantly lower stress after each session, but mini-breaks (MR) were associated with more frequent practice.
Conclusion. Relaxation decreases stress; short breaks are more likely to be practiced regularly.