Stressed and insecure working adults have been offered the chance to sort out their lives - thanks to two men from Egham's Royal Holloway College.

Dr Jeremy Oliver and Professor Andrew MacLeod from Royal Holloway, University of London in Egham Hill have come up with a short online training programme to help people set and pursue personal life goals in an age of high workloads, stress and insecurity.

By setting aside 30 minutes a week for five weeks, people taking part were able to to identify goals, develop ways of achieving them and anticipate and deal with obstacles.

This could be achieved by anything from going to the gym more, to decorating their bedroom or spending more time with family.

Across the UK, 330 employees mainly from the civil service industry took part in the trial. Participants reported less negative emotions and a greater sense of purpose five weeks after starting the programme and three months later.

Dr Jeremy Oliver, a clinical psychologist at Royal Holloway, said: “I work with families in front-line NHS services in a busy clinic near the City of London. Every day, I see parents who are stressed and overwhelmed, juggling their work and family life.

“It was great to be able to trial a successful well-being programme to help working adults focus their time and efforts on what is most important to them, to improve their well-being and engagement with life and hence being happier and healthier.”

The training programme was adapted from a successful treatment programme used in mental health service and community settings.

Dr Oliver added: “The next step would be trialling the programme within a range of workplace sectors, including the private sector. Any organisations interested in using our programme are welcome to contact us for further information.”

For more information, call Royal Holloway University of London on 01784 434455.