The effects of yoga practice on balance, strength, coordination and flexibility in healthy children aged 10-12 years.
J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2019 Oct ;23(4):708-712. Epub 2019 Feb 5. PMID: 31733751
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of yoga practice on balance, strength, coordination, and flexibility in healthy children aged 10-12 years.
STUDY DESIGN: Quasi-experimental, nonrandomized.
BACKGROUND: Research on the effects of yoga in children has focused on the benefits seen in non-healthy children or on the effects on hand grip strength and motor performance. The studies on the effects of yoga on balance, strength, coordination, and flexibility have been limited.
METHODS AND MEASURES: A convenience sample of 26 children, aged 10-12 years was obtained. The children participated in 40 min yoga sessions, led by a registered yoga teacher, 1-3 times per week for 8 weeks. The Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, second edition (BOT-2), the sit and reach test, and the 90/90 hamstring flexibility test were administered at baseline and at the end of the 8 weeks. Descriptivestatistics were calculated for all measurements. A Shapiro-Wilk test was used to test normality. A Wilcoxin signed-rank test was used to analyze pre- and post-test measurements for all variables.
RESULTS: There was a statistically significant within-subject difference from pre-test to post-test for balance (p = 0.026), sit and reach (p = 0.000), popliteal angle right (p = 0.005), and popliteal angle left (p = 0.018). There were no statistically significant differences in strength and bilateral coordination from pre-to post-test measurements.
CONCLUSIONS: Yoga may be a beneficial form of exercise in the school-based setting for improving balance and flexibility in healthy children.