Mindfulness and music interventions in the workplace: assessment of sustained attention and working memory using a crowdsourcing approach

Johanne Lundager Axelsen, Jacob Stig Jarnot Meline, Walter Staiano, Ulrich Kirk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Background: Occupational stress has huge financial as well as human costs. Application of crowdsourcing might be a way to strengthen the investigation of occupational mental health. Therefore, the aim of the study was to assess Danish employees’ stress and cognition by relying on a crowdsourcing approach, as well as investigating the effect of a 30-day mindfulness and music intervention. Methods: We translated well-validated neuropsychological laboratory- and task-based paradigms into an app-based platform using cognitive games measuring sustained attention and working memory and measuring stress via. Cohen’s Perceived Stress Scale. A total of 623 healthy volunteers from Danish companies participated in the study and were randomized into three groups, which consisted of a 30-day intervention of either mindfulness or music, or a non-intervention control group. Results: Participants in the mindfulness group showed a significant improvement in the coefficient of sustained attention, working memory capacity and perceived stress (p <.001). The music group showed a 38% decrease of self-perceived stress. The control group showed no difference from pre to post in the survey or cognitive outcome measures. Furthermore, there was a significant correlation between usage of the mindfulness and music app and elevated score on both the cognitive games and the perceived stress scale. Conclusion: The study supports the nascent field of crowdsourcing by being able to replicate data collected in previous well-controlled laboratory studies from a range of experimental cognitive tasks, making it an effective alternative. It also supports mindfulness as an effective intervention in improving mental health in the workplace.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108
JournalBMC Psychology
Issue number1
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 27. Apr 2022


  • App-based cognitive games
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Mindfulness
  • Music
  • N-back
  • Stress
  • Sustained attention
  • Meditation
  • Humans
  • Attention
  • Music Therapy
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Stress, Psychological/psychology


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