A report released by September 2021 reported that the mental health of over 80 per cent of teachers had been negatively impacted by their work amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
After a challenging time for teachers which saw working hours increase and physical and mental health decline, leading B2B mental health and wellness platform MindFi undertook the first-of-its-kind study in Singapore in partnership with Fitbit (now part of Google) to investigate the impact of wellness technologies, including the MindFi app and Fitbit wearables, can have on a user’s health.
The 10-week study integrated the MindFi app with Fitbit devices to track the progress and lifestyle changes of the participants, including activity level, sleep and heart rate, against user-reported metrics and question responses such as mood and general wellness. The study showed the benefits of using Fitbit to track and understand lifestyle data, in conjunction with the MindFi mental health solution to empower users to self-manage their overall health and wellbeing.
Participating teachers’ mental health and wellbeing were assessed using clinically validated questionnaires, including the WHO-5 before the study to set benchmarks and compared to post-intervention reported outcomes. The users’ responses and the data obtained from MindFi app and Fitbit were then analysed and interpreted by the MindFi’ research team that includes resident psychologists.
Regular use of a mental wellness app solution combined with Fitbit wearable devices to track activity and sleep can have a positive impact on users’ physical and mental health, according to a new pilot study involving Singapore teachers.
Teachers showed signs of anxiety and stress before the school term. Approaching a new school term, 61% of the participants reported that they were suffering from high levels of emotional exhaustion while 53% were having moderate to high stress levels.
The combined MindFi and Fitbit solution led to an improvement in overall well-being. Close to two-thirds (60%) of the teachers who used the integrated MindFi and Fitbit solution regularly saw significant improvement in their overall wellbeing, whilst 42% improved their physical well-being through the course of the study. 54% reported better sleep quality and 45% showed an improvement in their resting heart rate.
Regular use of Fitbit and mental wellness mobile apps had a positive impact on a user’s mental health. 58% of the participants who used the integrated MindFi and Fitbit solution in the study reported a decrease in depressive symptoms, with an average reduction of 26% in assessment scores.
The study reported reduced burnout by enabling teachers to improve their coping abilities. 57% of the teachers who took part in the study saw an improvement in their ability to cope with their workload, enabling them to be more productive at work and at home.
Teachers recommend the use of wellness technologies to their colleagues. 74% of teachers agreed that use of a mental health app helped them to manage their mental wellbeing and 66% of the participants have reported that their Fitbit device had the same impact. Having benefited from the intervention, 68% of teachers reported that they would recommend the combined MindFi and Fitbit solution to colleagues.
“There is no health without mental health. The exciting results of our pilot study shows that physical and mental health are closely related. Specifically, it shows that the future of mental health is to integrate it into our daily lifestyles via devices such as wearables.” said MIndFi Founder & CEO Bjorn Lee.
“As strong advocates of mental health in the workplace, we believe that this pilot study emphasises the change that business leaders can make in their human resources (HR) policies. Today, many human resources professionals already include wearables in their suite of employee benefits and more are beginning to embrace mental health and wellness apps. We are excited to work with Fitbit as a partner to champion a holistic vision of wellbeing in the workplace, in order to help employees get healthier, be more productive and happier in their careers and lives.”
Steve Morley, Director of Fitbit Health Solutions International and APAC said, “We are very encouraged with the results from this pilot study with MindFi in Singapore. With the increase in stress and burnout levels in the last two years, these results are a further proof of the great role wearable technology and wellness solutions can play in driving positive behavior change in populations. We look forward to working together with MindFi in extending this partnership across Singapore and APAC”.
Mental health has been one of the growing concerns among populations in the last two years. We are very encouraged with the results of the pilot with MindFi in Singapore. Teachers were at the front end of managing and helping students keep us with the curriculum. Driving positive behaviour change is at the core of Fitbit’s mission.