Yoga-based exercise improves balance and mobility in people aged 60 and over: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Age Ageing. 2015 Dec 25. Epub 2015 Dec 25. PMID: 26707903
OBJECTIVE: one-third of community-dwelling older adults fall annually. Exercise that challenges balance is proven to prevent falls. We conducted a systematic review with meta-analysis to determine the impact of yoga-based exercise on balance and physical mobility in people aged 60+ years.
METHODS: searches for relevant trials were conducted on the following electronic databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, CINAHL, Allied and Complementary Medicine Database and the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) from inception to February 2015. Trials were included if they evaluated the effect of physical yoga (excluding meditation and breathing exercises alone) on balance in people aged 60+ years. We extracted data on balance and the secondary outcome of physical mobility. Standardised mean differences and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using random-effects models. Methodological quality of trials was assessed using the 10-point Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) Scale.
RESULTS: six trials of relatively high methodological quality, totalling 307 participants, were identified and had data that could be included in a meta-analysis. Overall, yoga interventions had a small effect on balance performance (Hedges' g = 0.40, 95% CI 0.15-0.65, 6 trials) and a medium effect on physical mobility (Hedges' g = 0.50, 95% CI 0.06-0.95, 3 trials).
CONCLUSION: yoga interventions resulted in small improvements in balance and medium improvements in physical mobility in people aged 60+ years. Further research is required to determine whether yoga-related improvements in balance and mobility translate to prevention of falls in older people.PROSPERO Registration number CRD42015015872.