The relaxation zone: Initial analysis of stress management services for university students


Objective: We evaluated the Relaxation Zone (RZ), a room with “relaxation stations” designed to reduce stress in college students. Participants: Participants (N = 997) were enrolled during the 2019 calendar year. Most participants were female (62.8%), freshmen (59.2%), and African American (44.9%). Methods: Students visiting the RZ completed a brief pretest and posttest that measured self-reported stress. Results: Paired sample t-tests across class groups (e.g., freshman, sophomore) revealed a significant reduction in stress from pretest (M pooled = 6.0) to posttest (M pooled = 4.5), with medium to large effect sizes (Cohen’s d ranging from 0.53 to 0.88) during their first visit. For students having at least two visits (N = 368), an exploratory dose-response analysis demonstrated that an optimal dose of self-guided relaxation ranged from two to eight visits. Conclusions: These findings provide initial evidence that programs like the RZ can reduce student stress within a few visits.

Publication Title

Journal of American College Health