If it feels like more people are meditating, you’re not wrong.
The authors did not collect any information on what drove the increases. However, two of the authors, Tainya Clark and Lindsey Black, told CNBC it’s possibly related to meditation and yoga cellphone apps, as well as companies and schools offering programs for employees and students.
“Something really special is happening with our culture at a time when we need it most,” said Mary Jones Bell, Headspace’s chief science officer. “At a time when mental health problems are on the rise, something that improves focus and compassion is certainly something the world needs more of.”
Adults between the ages of 18 and 44 were more likely to practice yoga than those who were older, while use of meditation was most common among adults between the ages of 45 and 64, Black and Clark told CNBC.
More children are practicing yoga and meditation
Among children, practicing yoga increased to 8.4 percent in 2017 from 3.1 percent in 2012. Researchers were surprised to find little variation between kids and teens, Black and Clark said. Use of meditation among adolescents increased to 5.4 percent in 2017 from 0.6 percent in 2012.
Some teachers are incorporating meditation and yoga into their lesson plans. Popular meditation apps Headspace and Calm both offer a kid-friendly curriculum. The two companies are also courting employers to give employees subscriptions as a benefit.