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J Psychol. 2009 Jul;143(4):390-404. doi: 10.3200/JRLP.143.4.390-404.

Psychosocial correlates and outcomes of yoga or walking among older adults.

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  • 1University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA.


Few researchers have compared psychological correlates and outcomes of yoga with more traditional forms of exercise. The authors' primary aim was to compare changes in the psychosocial outcomes of mood and state anxiety produced by an acute bout of yoga or walking among older adults. The secondary aim was to compare selected psychosocial correlates of activity. Participants were 51 adults who were 50 years of age or older who walked for exercise or participated in a yoga class. Results revealed that yoga participants had significantly greater levels of depression and perceived barriers to exercise, and lower quality of life than did walkers. With control for these differences, yoga practitioners had improved levels of fatigue pre- to postsession, compared with walkers. With control for differences in demographic variables, these changes were no longer significant. It is possible that yoga practitioners seek out mindful-based exercise to cope with greater levels of depression and lower levels of quality of life.

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