Smartphone based exercises are various established or more modern psychotherapeutic exercise modules known as micro-interventions.
The findings showed that participants in the study felt more alert, calmer and uplifted after using five-minute video tutorials on their smartphones as a guide.
Those who succeeded in immediately improving their mood through the brief exercises also benefited over the longer term as well.
Further, these technology based exercises are concrete and can be used in everyday situations as they are readily-available anytime, anywhere as well as are free of cost, the researchers said.
“The study demonstrates the viability of smartphone-based micro-interventions for improving mood in concrete, everyday situations,” said Marion Tegethoff, Associate Professor at the University of Basel in Switzerland.
Such applications could represent a useful addition to the psychotherapeutic options currently available.
However, these exercises cannot replace treatment by a qualified professional for people suffering from depression or other psychological disorders, the researchers warned.
For the study, the team included 27 healthy young men as part of a larger research programme using the modern communication technology to improve psychological health also referred to as “mobile health”, or “mHealth” for short.
The subjects recorded their mood on their smartphones, answering short questions by marking a six-step scale both before and after the exercise.
Some of the participants, for example, recalled emotional experiences during the exercise, while other test subjects repeated short sentences or number sequences in a contemplative manner, or played with their facial gestures.
The results are reported in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.