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Title:The effects of acute yoga on anxiety symptoms in response to a carbon dioxide inhalation task in women
Author(s):Ensari, Ipek
Director of Research:Motl, Robert W.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Motl, Robert W.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):McAuley, Edward; Petruzzello, Steven J.; Green, Beverly Christine
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Respiratory rate
Abstract:Background: Acute exercise is becoming an increasingly popular approach for treating anxiety symptoms in individuals with clinical and/or subclinical levels of anxiety. However, there has been limited empirical effort in studying such anxiolytic effects in individuals of this specific target population (i.e., those with elevated anxiety). This has consequently led to floor effects in the literature. There further has been inadequate focus on women, who are significantly more affected by these symptoms. Finally, yoga has not been adequately studied for such effects, although it has become a mainstream alternative health practice approach by many individuals. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of a single bout of vinyasa-style yoga versus a stretching control condition for improving immediate and delayed cognitive and physical anxiety symptoms induced by a 5-minute, 7.5.% CO2-inhalation protocol in women with self-reported high anxiety sensitivity. Methods: In a within-subjects design, 18 women with elevated anxiety sensitivity completed 1 baseline session, and 2 experimental conditions in a randomized, counterbalanced order. Yoga and control conditions consisted of 40 minutes of guided vinyasa-style yoga and light stretching, respectively. Participants completed the 7.5% CO2-inhalation task before, immediately after and 1 hour after the experimental conditions and filled out questionnaires on state anxiety, panic and anger before and after the inhalation. Respiratory measures (i.e., respiration rate, ventilation, tidal volume, CO2 production) and self-reported overall anxiety data were collected via a metabolic cart attached to the mouthpiece during the inhalation task. Repeated measures ANOVAs were conducted for all outcome measures. Results: Based on the results of the 3-way ANOVA, there was no evidence for a differential pattern of change in self-reported or respiratory outcomes in response to the inhalation task between the 2 conditions (p>.05). There was a significant main effect of inhalation (i.e., from pre- to post-inhalation) on the self-reported panic and anxiety symptoms in both conditions (p<.05). Finally, collapsed over exposure and condition, there was a slight reduction in cognitive anxiety over time (i.e., from baseline to immediately post and 1-hour post-inhalation task). Conclusion: A light-to-moderate intensity vinyasa-style yoga does not appear to be more efficacious than a light stretching session for improving symptoms of anxiety and panic in response to the anxiogenic 5-minute, 7.5% CO2-air mixture inhalation task. However, there appears to be an overall effect of general physical activity for attenuating cognitions of anxiety, irrespective of the physiological responses. Furthermore, the inhalation task administered in the present study appears to be a reliable method for mimicking both acute panic and more generalized anxiety state symptoms under laboratory conditions.
Issue Date:2016-07-14
Rights Information:Copyright 2016, Ipek Ensari
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08

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