Need to do some serious multitasking? Some training in meditation beforehand could make the work smoother and less stressful, new research from the University of Washington shows. Work by UW Information School professors David Levy and Jacob Wobbrock suggests that meditation training can help people working with information stay on tasks longer with fewer distractions and also improves memory and reduces stress. Their paper was published in Proceedings of Graphics Interface. Levy, a computer scientist, and Wobbrock, a researcher in human-computer interaction, conducted the study together with Information School doctoral candidate Marilyn Ostergren and Alfred Kaszniak, a neuropsychologist at the University of Arizona.
“To our knowledge, this is the first study to explore how meditation might affect multitasking in a realistic work setting,” Levy said.
The researchers recruited three groups of 12-15 human resource managers for the study. One group received eight weeks of mindfulness-based meditation training; another received eight weeks of body relaxation training. Members of the third, a control group, received no training at first, then after eight weeks were given the same training as the first group.
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