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Six Weeks of Yoga Improves Psychological Health in Older Adults

12 Nov

Researchers from Walden University in Minneapolis conducted a randomized, controlled study to assess the impact of a yoga intervention on the psychological health of older adults.

Subjects were 98 older adults, ages 65 to 92, randomly assigned to 6 weeks of either chair yoga, chair exercise or a control group condition. They were assessed pre-and post-intervention, and at one month follow-up on their anger, anxiety, depression, morale and self-efficacy.

Measuring instruments used were 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.

Yoga participants improved more than either exercise or control participants in anger, anxiety, depression, well-being, general self-efficacy, and self-efficacy for daily living. Changes in self-control moderated changes in psychological health.

The investigators conclude that the potential of 6 weeks of chair yoga for improving psychological health in older adults was supported.

Citation: Bonura KB1, Tenenbaum G. Effects of yoga on psychological health in older adults. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. 2014 Sep;11 (7): pages 1334-41. doi: 10.1123/jpah.2012-0365. Epub 2013 Dec 20.

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Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award.