A 12-Week “Silver Yoga” Program Enhances Lung Function in Elderly Women Residents of a Hospice KC01-KC04
Dr. Meena Ramanathan,
Deputy Director, CYTER, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Pillayarkuppam-607402, Puducherry, India.
Introduction: “Silver Yoga” program has been devised by Centre for Yoga Therapy, Education and Research (CYTER) of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Pondicherry. Participants practiced the protocol that was specially designed for senior citizens, keeping in mind their health status and physical limitations.
Aim: The present study was planned to evaluate possible changes in lung functioning assessed through Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) in senior citizens following 12 weeks of an integrated Silver Yoga programme.
Materials and Methods: In this comparative pre-post study, 40 elderly women inmates of the hospice were randomised into two groups of 20 each. Yoga group (Group A) received training in the integrated Silver Yoga programme while control group (Group B) did not receive any yoga training. Both the groups however participated in all the routine activities of the Hospice. Anthropometric data, respiratory rate and lung function parameters were recorded before and after the 12-week study period. Intra-group and inter-group comparisons of pre and post study data were done using Student’s paired and unpaired t-test respectively. A p-value less than 0.05 was considered to indicate significant differences between means.
Results: After the 12 weeks of Silver Yoga, both weight and BMI showed significant reduction (p<0.05) in Group A, whereas there was an insignificant increase in Group B. Lung function tests such as FVC, FEV1, PEFR, and FIVC increased significantly (p<0.05) after yoga training, whereas FVC decreased significantly (p<0.05) in the Group B. Group A showed significant decrease in both Respiratory Rate (RR) (p<0.01) and Lung Age (p<0.001) while FEF25-75 increased significantly in both groups.
Conclusion: Results of this pilot study give preliminary evidence that incorporation of Yoga as part of senior’s lifestyle can help in promoting health thereby, modifying age related disorders. It is however, limited by the smaller sample size, also limited to a single centre. Further multi-centric studies with larger populations can deepen understanding of intrinsic mechanisms by which these changes are occurring in Silver Yoga.