Effects of Yoga on Psychological Health in Older Adults

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health

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Kimberlee Bethany Bonura
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Gershon Tenenbaum
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Background:

The objective of this study was to assess the effect of a yoga intervention on psychological health in older adults.

Method:

A randomized controlled trial study, conducted at 2 North Florida facilities for older adults. Subjects were 98 older adults, ages 65 to 92. Participants were randomly assigned to chair yoga, chair exercise, and control groups and assessed preintervention, postintervention, and 1-month follow-up on the State Anger Expression Inventory, State Anxiety Inventory, Geriatric Depression Scale, Lawton’s PGC Morale Scale, General Self-Efficacy Scale, Chronic Disease Self-Efficacy Scales, and Self- Control Schedule.

Results:

Yoga participants improved more than both exercise and control participants in anger (Cohen’s d = 0.89 for yoga versus exercise, and 0.90 for yoga versus control, pretest to posttest; and d = 0.90 and 0.72, pretest to follow-up), anxiety (d = 0.27, 0.39 and 0.62, 0.63), depression (d = 0.47, 0.49 and 0.53, 0.51), well-being (d = 0.14, 0.49 and 0.25, 0.61), general self-efficacy (d = 0.63, 1.10 and 0.30, 0.85), and self-efficacy for daily living (d = 0.52, 0.81 and 0.27, 0.42). Changes in self-control moderated changes in psychological health.

Conclusions:

Over a 6-week period, our findings indicate yoga’s potential for improving psychological health in older adults.

Bonura (info@drkimberleebonura.com) is with the Center for Faculty Excellence, Walden University, Minneapolis, MN. Tenenbaum is with the Dept of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.

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