The purpose of this research study is to learn about how emotions, through meditation, alter bodily systems in ways that promote healthy lifestyle behavior changes. Therefore, we are looking for people who are interested in making lifestyle changes, and especially interested in smokers. Quitting smoking is not a requirement for participating in this study. In addition to the meditation classes, a web portal provides tools to improve your success in these lifestyle changes. At the beginning of the meditation classes, you will have access to a personalized report on your health behaviors and to interactive exercises that scientific research has shown help increase your chances of success in your chosen healthy lifestyle changes.

We are looking for people who are:

    • between 35 and 64 years old
    • interested in learning how to meditate
    • not engaged, nor have been, in regular meditation practice
    • able to access the internet daily
    • fluent in written and spoken English
    • interested in making some healthy lifestyle changes

Participation includes:

    • Three 2-hour lab sessions and three 1-hour fasting lab sessions. These laboratory sessions will take place during the same week at Baseline, Post-workshop (3-months), and 18-months later. Each of these 1-hour sessions involve biological (e.g., blood and urine samples) and psychological measures (e.g., questionnaires). Each of the 2-hour sessions involve physiological (e.g. heart rate, blood pressure, and weight), psychological measures (e.g., questionnaires and tasks) and may include walking on a treadmill, if your health permits.
    • Daily, brief, online surveys on emotion and wellness behaviors will be conducted every day for 11 weeks. Each daily report will last approximately 5 minutes, and an additional weekly online survey will last approximately 35 minutes.
    • There will be a follow-up survey every 3 months between the end of the meditation workshop and the 18-month lab visit. This quarterly survey will take approximately 70 minutes.
    • Every participant will be enrolled in a 6-week meditation workshop. Classes will meet for one hour per week.

Schedule

Baseline lab visits will be scheduled during the weeks of August 25 through September 19.

The meditation workshops will be held on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings starting in September 2014. You will be randomly assigned to attend either a Tuesday OR Wednesday meditation workshop, although you can indicate a time preference (e.g., 5:00 pm or 6:30 pm). Please ensure that you are available to attend meditation class on BOTH Tuesday or Wednesday at the time of registration, as we will not know your class assignment until after the study has started.

Workshop A Wednesdays September 17 - October 22 6:30 - 7:30 pm
Workshop B Wednesdays September 24 - October 29 5:00 - 6:00 pm
Workshop C Tuesdays September 30 - November 4 6:30 - 7:30 pm
Workshop D Tuesdays October 7 - November 11 5:00 - 6:00 pm

All lab sessions and meditation classes will be held at our lab located at 1829 East Franklin Street, Building 600, Chapel Hill 27514.

Study Orientation

Due to the size of the group, we will have two Study Orientations. One is scheduled for August 19th from 5:30 - 6:30 pm and the second is August 20th from 6:00 - 7:00 pm. You will need to attend one of these orientations where you will meet the research team, the meditation instructors, learn more about the study, and ask questions.

How much will I be paid?

The meditation workshops and class materials (a CD set of guided meditations, canvas tote bag, a journal, and meditation-practice related objects such as cushions, timers, or blankets) are absolutely FREE. You will receive up to $640 for taking part in the study. This amount will be prorated on what you complete or if you choose to withdraw from the study prior to completion. There will also be a weekly drawing with the chance to win $100 gift cards.

Registration is now open

Click HERE to go to the registration section.

You'll have the chance to read the consent form, provide contact information, and other information. Registration does not automatically mean that you are enrolled in the study. You will be contacted by a team member for enrollment information.

If you have any questions, please contact the study coordinator, Cara Arizmendi, by email or telephone (919) 942-4988.