Yoga's effect on Falls in rural older adults

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0965229917302698

Complementary Therapies in Medicine
Volume 35, December 2017, Pages 57-63

 

Yoga’s effect on falls in rural, older adults

Author links open overlay panel IreneHamrickaPaulMrossbNateChristopherbcPaul D.Smitha

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https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2017.09.007Get rights and content

Abstract

Background

Unintentional falls affect 30% of people over age 65 years. Yoga has been shown to improve balance. We designed this study to examine if yoga reduces falls.

Methods

We conducted 16 sessions of Hatha yoga over 8 weeks. Participants were randomly assigned to practice 10 min of yoga daily at home in addition to 5-min relaxation exercises or relaxation exercises only (control group).

Results

Of the 38 participants completing the intervention, 15 participants reported a total of 27 falls in the 6-months before the study, compared to 13 participants sustaining 14 falls in the 6 months from the start of the study (p < 0.047), without difference between yoga home-exercise and home relaxation-only groups.
Compared to baseline scores, all participants improved on the Berg Balance Scale (53–54 out of 56, p = 0.002), the Functional Gait Assessment (22.9–25.8 out of 30 points, p < 0.001), and the Dynamic Gait Index (20.6–22.4 out of 24 points, p < 0.001). Right leg stand time improved from a mean of 13.3 s to 17.1 s (p = 0.020) and standing forward reach distance from 26.0 cm to 29.6 cm (p < 0.001). Without difference between groups.
Confidence, with the Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale, increased in the yoga home-exercise group (88%–93%, p = 0.037) compared to 90% unchanged from pre-intervention in the home relaxation-only group.

Conclusion

Yoga classes reduce self-reported falls and improve balance measures. The addition of home yoga exercises did not enhance benefit over relaxation exercise only.

 

ResearchPaul MrossComment