International Journal of Yoga
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SHORT COMMUNICATION Table of Contents   
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 146-150
Safety and feasibility of modified chair-yoga on functional outcome among elderly at risk for falls


1 Physical Therapy Program, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey; Perelman School of Medicine, Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Pennsylvania, Galloway, New Jersey, USA
2 Physical Therapy Program, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, New Jersey, USA
3 Fox Rehabilitation, Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Pennsylvania, Galloway, New Jersey, USA
4 Perelman School of Medicine, Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Pennsylvania, Galloway, New Jersey, USA

Correspondence Address:
Mary Lou Galantino
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, 101 Vera King Farris Drive, Galloway, New Jersey 08025
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-6131.98242

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Falls are among the most common problems affecting older adults. At least 50% of those over the age of 80 fall annually. The goal of this pilot study was to assess the safety and feasibility of structured yoga in an elderly population with fall risk. Seniors at risk for falls were identified and enrolled in a single arm pilot trial. A chair based yoga program was provided twice a week for 8 weeks. The program was designed from previously published pilot data. A battery of validated instruments was administered at baseline and week eight and was used to identify which instruments may be sensitive to change as a result of a yoga program. Among sixteen seniors (median age of 88) with a previous history of falls, 87% provided data for assessment at the end of the intervention. Two patients withdrew, one due to a fall outside the institution and the other due to lack of time and interest. There were no adverse events during the yoga sessions. Paired-t tests compared pre-post changes and gains were noted in Fear of Falling (5.27 to 2.60; P = 0.029) and SPPB sit to stand subscale (0.31 to 1.00; P =.022). Improved trends were noted in anxiety and the timed up and go assessments. We found the modified chair-yoga program is safe and recruitment is feasible. Our data suggests that yoga may be beneficial in improving mobility and reducing fear of falling which warrants additional research via randomized controlled trial.


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