Main Article Content
work-life balance, stress-reducing program, work community, workplace wellness
Introduction: Stress and burnout continue to have negative impacts on teachers. Wellness programs have reported to help improve teachers’ quality of life, social life, reduce stress, and increase awareness of healthy choices. The purpose of this paper is to explore teachers’ perceptions and experiences of a fitness and mindfulness program.
Methods: Semi-structured interview guides were used in the three separate focus groups that were conducted following each of the three 9-week fitness and mindfulness programs serving as an intervention for elementary school teachers to reduce stress. Focus groups included all female participants between the ages of 22-64 years old with one to 21 years of experience in the classroom. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis.
Results: Two themes and subsequent themes were found: (1) work-life balance (subthemes: Implementing mindfulness techniques; Feeling ok leaving work; Self-care) and (2) building community (subthemes: Developed community; Accountability; and Level of comfort).
Conclusions: The finding revealed that teachers improved their work-life balance through self-care, implementation of mindfulness techniques, accountability, and comfort with co-workers. The participants reported developing a workplace community. Overall, the results support that elementary teachers perceived a 9-week fitness and mindfulness program to have a positive impact on workplace wellbeing.
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