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ACSM: Yoga helped older stroke victims improve balance, endurance
Date:6/4/2011

ng a hip after a fall. An estimated 80 percent of people who have strokes will also have some degree of impaired balance.

The study participants performed poses initially while seated in chairs and then progressed to seated and standing poses. Eventually, they all performed poses on the floor, something Schmid considers significant because of a reluctance many older adults have to working on the floor.

"Everything was modified because we wanted them to be successful on day one," Schmid said. "Everyone could be successful at some level."

A score of less than 46 on the Berg Balance Scale indicates a fall risk. Schmid said the study participants on average began the study with a score of 40 and then improved to 47, moving them past the fall risk threshold. The study participants also showed significant improvements in endurance based on a seated two-minute step test and a six-minute walk test.

Schmid said research into therapeutic uses for yoga is "really taking off," particularly in mental health fields. Clinically, she has been watching a small trend of occupational therapists and physical therapists also becoming yoga therapists. The yoga performed in the study was modified to the extent that Schmid said it would be very difficult to find a comparable class offered publicly. Such a class should be taught by a yoga therapist who has had additional training in anatomy and physiology and how to work with people with disabilities. Schmid hopes to expand the study so she and her colleagues can explore whether such classes are effective on a larger scale.


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Contact: Arlene A. Schmid
Arlene.Schmid@va.gov
317-988-3480
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert

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