Files in this item



application/pdfNeha_Gothe.pdf (1MB)
(no description provided)PDF


Title:The effects of an 8-week yoga intervention on cognition and functional fitness in older adults
Author(s):Gothe, Neha
Director of Research:McAuley, Edward
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):McAuley, Edward
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Kramer, Arthur F.; Hillman, Charles H.; Woods, Jeffrey A.
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):yoga intervention
executive function
functional fitness
older adults
salivary cortisol
Abstract:Yoga practice is becoming increasing popular in the West and there is growing interest in the mental benefits, including cognitive benefits that this mind-body exercise may offer. In spite of being a topical area of enquiry, few randomized control trials have been conducted to explore the cognitive benefits of yoga practice. The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of yoga in improving cognitive performance and functional fitness in middle aged and older adults. Participants (N=118) were randomly assigned to a yoga group (n=61) or a stretching control group (n=57). Both interventions lasted 8 weeks with structured hour long exercise classes conducted 3x/week. Participants in the yoga group engaged in Hatha yoga postures, breathing and meditative exercises whereas the control participants engaged in stretching exercises. Data were collected at baseline and following the 8 week intervention. Results showed that the yoga group performance was significantly better than the control group on cognitive measures assessing executive function, attention and processing speed. Changes in salivary cortisol and self-report anxiety measures partially explained the variance in the cognitive improvements as a result of yoga practice. The functional results showed that yoga was as good as the stretching group in improving strength, balance, flexibility and mobility in this population. To our knowledge this is the first randomized control trial to systematically examine the cognitive benefits of yoga in a sedentary older adult population. Overall the results of this study provide strong evidence for the effects of regular yoga practice on cognition and future research needs to examine the mechanisms underlying the yoga-cognition relationship.
Issue Date:2013-05-24
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Neha Pravin Gothe
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-05-24
Date Deposited:2013-05

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Item Statistics