At last, WWE study results are out, and we are very excited to share them with you below!!!

In this study, an online loving-kindness meditation course was compared against an online light physical exercise course. Both one-month courses led to stress reduction and greater wellbeing in the 143 participants who completed the study.

However, the experiences were very different. Light exercise training led to regular increases in relaxation and physical wellbeing which were expe...cted and generated a sense of achievement. Loving-kindness meditation training was an emotionally intense experience, generating turmoil but also calmness, deep reflections and an increased connectedness with self and others.

Loving-kindness meditation reduced anxiety slightly more, and made a bigger impact on at least some dimensions of empathy, like perspective taking and valuing empathic attitudes. To measure altruism £10/$10 were offered to participants with a choice of donating all or half to charity. The meditation group gave slightly more £5 donations than the physical exercise group.

Some participants had difficulties with loving-kindness meditation practice. It is suggested that successful initial engagement with this type of meditation requires some degree of emotional stability and flexibility.

As it usually happens with free online courses, only half of those who signed up did more than one course session, and only half of these finished the course. This happened in both courses in a similar fashion.

In sum, this study shows that online loving-kindness meditation training improves wellbeing as much as online light physical exercise training, and that it specifically stimulates empathy and altruism. Courses like this may help to build resilient and empathic communities in a cost-effective way. More research is needed to confirm this initial evidence, and more development work is needed to make this training easier for those who are interested but find it too difficult.

We would like to thank the participants for their time, patience, and insights. We are also grateful to the people who were involved in the design and production of the courses. This research was supported by a scholarship from Cardiff University School of Medicine.

Taster of the courses:
Full scientific report:

See More
Loving-kindness meditation improves mental wellbeing as much as light physical exercise, and it stimulates empathy.

When lovers touch, their breathing, heartbeat syncs, pain wanes, study shows

When an empathetic partner holds a lover's hand, their heart rates and breathing rates sync and her pain subsides, new research shows. Authors say such 'interpersonal synchronization' could play a…

True altruism seen in chimpanzees, giving clues to evolution of human cooperation


7 great things that happened when I opened up about my mental health

Nurturing slum children's passion for cricket

Rajesh Pundir set up a Slum Cricket League to give Delhi's slum children a chance at playing professional cricket.

India cancer survivor brings joy to destitute children

The pub quiz master who spends time bringing smiles to the faces of abandoned, destitute and orphaned children in Bangalore.

The Indian man who chases fires

Bipin Ganatra has been helping the firemen of Kolkata douse the hundreds of fires that the city experiences every year.

The man saving Mumbai water one tap at a time

The BBC's Geeta Pandey in Mumbai meets award-winning author and cartoonist Aabid Surti who goes around fixing leaking taps in people's homes.

London attack: So many community heroes

Stories emerge of those who tackled the attackers - including a Spanish banker who is still missing.

The "traffic heroin": a woman whose daughter's death led her to save others

She lost her daughter in an accident on the very spot she manages traffic today in the northern Indian city of Ghaziabad.

A messiah for India's abandoned sick

Gurmeet Singh, a garments trader, has been tending to the sick and abandoned patients at one of India's largest hospitals for more than 20 years.

Manchester attack: The community that rushed to help -

Stories of random acts of kindness are emerging in the wake of the Manchester attack.

Ganesh Rakh: The doctor who delivers India's girls for free

An Indian doctor is on a unique mission to save girls - he waives his fee if a baby girl is born in his hospital, writes the BBC's Geeta Pandey in Pune.

The woman who electrified a village and took on a mafia

Kalawati Devi Rawat has waged a long battle to improve the lives of village women in the hills of the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand.

The taxi driver who has saved 92 crash victims

Suraj Prakash Vaid rushes to help traffic accident victims in a country where most opt to walk away.

International students need to Prioritise their mental health

In my first two weeks of University, I have barely eaten something.