ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 56-60

Yoga training enhances auditory and visual reaction time in elderly woman inmates of a hospice: A pilot randomized controlled trial


Centre for Yoga Therapy Education and Research, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani
Centre for Yoga Therapy Education and Research, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Pillayarkuppam, Puducherry - 607 402
India
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DOI: 10.4103/ym.ym_16_20

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Introduction: There is a generalized impairment of mind–body functioning due to old age, resulting in disintegration, leading to diseases, and yoga is a boon to the elderly as it has preventive, curative, as well as rehabilitative potential. Reaction time (RT) is a simple, noninvasive index of processing ability of the central nervous system. Aim: This study planned to investigate changes in auditory RT (ART) and visual RT (VRT), respectively, before and after 12 weeks of yoga training in elderly woman inmates of a hospice in Puducherry. Subjects and Methods: Forty woman inmates were randomized to two groups of twenty each. Group A (yoga group) received training in integrated Silver Yoga program, while Group B (wait-listed control group) did not. ART and VRT were measured before and after study period using RT apparatus. Data passed normality testing, and parametric statistical methods were applied for intra and inter-group comparisons using Student's paired and unpaired t-test, respectively. A p < 0.05 was considered to indicate significance. Results: Baseline values were comparable between both groups. Intra-group comparison of pre-post data showed statistically significant (p < 0.001) differences in Group A, for both ART and VRT. Actual p values have been given for unpaired t-test and the intergroup comparison of ART and VRT showed significant differences (p = 0.001 and p = 0.018, respectively). Discussion: The influence of yoga in the reduction of ART and VRT in elderly females is evident as has been reported in earlier studies and may be attributed to enhanced central processing ability resulting from improved alertness and awareness. Significant shortening in ART and VRT signifies faster reactivity and enhanced sensory motor function in the elderly. Limitations: It is limited by smaller sample size and single center. Further multi-centric studies with larger populations can deepen understanding. Conclusion: Yoga training can enhance RT in senior citizens, increasing their agility and alertness, which is dulled with aging. Results of this study give preliminary evidence that incorporation of yoga as part of senior's lifestyle can help in promoting health modifying age-related disorders. We suggest that yoga should be part of health-care facilities for the elderly as it can enhance quality of life and improve overall health status.


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