Yoga associated with improved balance and reduced fear of falling

Yoga may improve balance leading to reduced risk (and fear) of falling.

Question

What are the effects of yoga on balance and fear of falling?

What was done?

40 participants aged 60-74 years were randomly assigned to a yoga group (2 times per week for 8 weeks) or a control group (no yoga). Fear of falling and measures of balance were recorded at the start of the study and after 8 weeks.

What was found?

Significant improvements in balances and reductions in fear of falling were demonstrated in the yoga group.

How does this affect me?

Including yoga into your lifestyle may reduce injuries due to falling.

Article Abstract

Objective: To determine the effect of yoga on balance and fear of falling in older adults.
Design: Randomized controlled trial.
Setting: Jahandidegan Center in Shiraz, southern Iran.
Participants: Forty persons (17 men and 23 women) between the ages of 60-74 years with a Modified Falls Efficacy Scale (MFES) score <8 and a Berg Balance Scale (BBS) score <45. After completing the MFES questionnaire and BBS measurement, the participants were divided into intervention and control groups. BBS measurement and the MFES questionnaire were completed again immediately after the intervention.
Intervention: The intervention group participated in 2 yoga practice sessions per week for 8 weeks. The control group received no intervention.
Main Outcome Measurements
Fear of falling was measured with the MFES and balance was measured with the BBS.
Results: We found significant changes in both variables (P < .0001). Mean differences before and after the intervention for the BBS for yoga and control groups were 10.19 and –1.16, respectively. Mean differences before and after the intervention for the MFES for yoga and control groups were 1.62 and –0.21, respectively.
Conclusion: Yoga is a potential intervention to reduce fear of falling and improve balance in older adults.

Link to full article.

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