Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Exerc Sci. 2019 Mar 1;12(2):425-432. eCollection 2019.

A Comparison of Blood Viscosity and Hematocrit Levels between Yoga Practitioners and Sedentary Adults.

Author information

Cardiovascular Physiology Laboratory, Texas State University, Department of Health and Human Performance, San Marcos, TX.
Human Informatics Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.
Cardiovascular Aging Research Laboratory, University of Texas at Austin, Department of Kinesiology & Health Education, Austin, TX.


Elevations in whole blood viscosity (WBV) and hematocrit (Hct), have been linked with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Endurance training has been demonstrated to lower WBV and Hct; however, evidence supporting the efficacy of yoga on these measures is sparse. A cross-sectional study was conducted examining WBV and Hct levels between yoga practitioners with a minimum of 3 years of consistent practice and sedentary, healthy adults. Blood samples were collected from a total of 42 participants: 23 sedentary adults and 19 regular yoga practitioners. Brachial arterial blood pressure (BP) was measured and the averages of 3 measures were reported. The yoga practitioner group had significantly lower WBV at 45 s-1 (p < 0.01), 90 s-1 (p < 0.01), 220 s-1 (p < 0.05), and 450 s-1 (p < 0.05) than sedentary participants. No significant group differences in Hct (p =0.38) were found. A tendency toward lower systolic BP (p=0.06) was observed in the yoga practitioner group; however, no significant group differences in BP were exhibited. A consistent yoga practice was associated with lower WBV, a health indicator related to CVD risk. These findings support a regular yoga practice as a valid form of exercise for improving rheological indicators of cardiovascular health.


Cardiovascular disease; alternative exercise; biomarkers; cross-sectional; rheological factors


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center