Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Date Information

May 12, 2017

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Darlene Crone-Todd

Second Advisor

Mike Wong

Third Advisor

Martin Krugman

Abstract

Dealing with stress in our busy lives impacts wellbeing. In this study, a “Breathe Your Way Couch to 5K” program was used to assess whether meditation, treadmill exercise, or both result in lower levels of stress and overall higher well-being. Stress and wellbeing were measured using an Overall Health and Wellbeing Questionnaire, and perceived exertion was measured using the Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale. It was hypothesized that physical exercise would have a more beneficial outcome when compared with meditation and that both would result in beneficial outcomes. Participants (n=17) were asked to engage in a seven-week meditation and exercise program. Following an initial week of meditation only, every two or so weeks the participants were invited to either engage in a meditation or exercise session twice per week. Following each 20-minute session, participants filled out the RPE scale. Participants recorded their average heart rates before, immediately after the session, and two minutes after the session concluded, and also filled out the Overall Health and Wellbeing Questionnaire after they completed a meditation or exercise rotation. The results suggest that there are increased scores on overall health and wellbeing, and that the treadmill couch to 5k program had a positive impact on health and wellbeing, positive self-image, and spirituality. These results will have implications for ways for people to decrease stress and increase overall wellbeing through the use of these strategies employed in this study.

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