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Yoga Is as Good as Stretching-Strengthening Exercises in Improving Functional Fitness Outcomes: Results From a Randomized Controlled Trial.
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2016 Mar; 71(3):406-11.JG

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Despite yoga's popularity, few clinical trials have employed rigorous methodology to systematically explore its functional benefits compared with more established forms of exercise. The objective of this study was to compare the functional benefits of yoga with the conventional stretching-strengthening exercises recommended for adults.

METHODS

Sedentary healthy adults (N = 118; M age = 62.0) participated in an 8-week (three times a week for 1 hour) randomized controlled trial, which consisted of a Hatha yoga group (n = 61) and a stretching-strengthening exercise group (n = 57). Standardized functional fitness tests assessing balance, strength, flexibility, and mobility were administered at baseline and postintervention.

RESULTS

A repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance showed a significant time effect for measures of balance [F(3,18) = 4.88, p < .01, partial η(2) = .45], strength [F(2,19) = 15.37, p < .001, partial η(2) = .62], flexibility [F(4,17) = 8.86, p < .001, partial η(2) = .68], and mobility [F(2,19) = 8.54, p < .002, partial η(2) = .47]. Both groups showed significant improvements on measures of balance (left-right leg and four square step); strength (chair stands and arm curls); flexibility (back scratch and sit-and-reach); and mobility (gait speed and 8-feet up and go), with partial η(2) ranging from .05 to .47.

CONCLUSIONS

These data suggest that regular yoga practice is just as effective as stretching-strengthening exercises in improving functional fitness. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine functional benefits of yoga in comparison with stretching-strengthening exercises in sedentary, healthy, community-dwelling older adults. These findings have clinical implications as yoga is a more amenable form of exercise than strengthening exercises as it requires minimal equipment and can be adapted for individuals with lower levels of functioning or disabilities.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Division of Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Studies, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan. nehagothe@wayne.edu.Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University at Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26297940

Citation

Gothe, Neha P., and Edward McAuley. "Yoga Is as Good as Stretching-Strengthening Exercises in Improving Functional Fitness Outcomes: Results From a Randomized Controlled Trial." The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, vol. 71, no. 3, 2016, pp. 406-11.
Gothe NP, McAuley E. Yoga Is as Good as Stretching-Strengthening Exercises in Improving Functional Fitness Outcomes: Results From a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2016;71(3):406-11.
Gothe, N. P., & McAuley, E. (2016). Yoga Is as Good as Stretching-Strengthening Exercises in Improving Functional Fitness Outcomes: Results From a Randomized Controlled Trial. The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 71(3), 406-11. https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glv127
Gothe NP, McAuley E. Yoga Is as Good as Stretching-Strengthening Exercises in Improving Functional Fitness Outcomes: Results From a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2016;71(3):406-11. PubMed PMID: 26297940.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Yoga Is as Good as Stretching-Strengthening Exercises in Improving Functional Fitness Outcomes: Results From a Randomized Controlled Trial. AU - Gothe,Neha P, AU - McAuley,Edward, Y1 - 2015/08/22/ PY - 2015/02/27/received PY - 2015/07/02/accepted PY - 2015/8/23/entrez PY - 2015/8/25/pubmed PY - 2016/6/15/medline KW - CDC guidelines KW - Functional performance KW - Physical activity KW - Yoga SP - 406 EP - 11 JF - The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences JO - J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci VL - 71 IS - 3 N2 - BACKGROUND: Despite yoga's popularity, few clinical trials have employed rigorous methodology to systematically explore its functional benefits compared with more established forms of exercise. The objective of this study was to compare the functional benefits of yoga with the conventional stretching-strengthening exercises recommended for adults. METHODS: Sedentary healthy adults (N = 118; M age = 62.0) participated in an 8-week (three times a week for 1 hour) randomized controlled trial, which consisted of a Hatha yoga group (n = 61) and a stretching-strengthening exercise group (n = 57). Standardized functional fitness tests assessing balance, strength, flexibility, and mobility were administered at baseline and postintervention. RESULTS: A repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance showed a significant time effect for measures of balance [F(3,18) = 4.88, p < .01, partial η(2) = .45], strength [F(2,19) = 15.37, p < .001, partial η(2) = .62], flexibility [F(4,17) = 8.86, p < .001, partial η(2) = .68], and mobility [F(2,19) = 8.54, p < .002, partial η(2) = .47]. Both groups showed significant improvements on measures of balance (left-right leg and four square step); strength (chair stands and arm curls); flexibility (back scratch and sit-and-reach); and mobility (gait speed and 8-feet up and go), with partial η(2) ranging from .05 to .47. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that regular yoga practice is just as effective as stretching-strengthening exercises in improving functional fitness. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine functional benefits of yoga in comparison with stretching-strengthening exercises in sedentary, healthy, community-dwelling older adults. These findings have clinical implications as yoga is a more amenable form of exercise than strengthening exercises as it requires minimal equipment and can be adapted for individuals with lower levels of functioning or disabilities. SN - 1758-535X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26297940/Yoga_Is_as_Good_as_Stretching_Strengthening_Exercises_in_Improving_Functional_Fitness_Outcomes:_Results_From_a_Randomized_Controlled_Trial_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/biomedgerontology/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/gerona/glv127 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -