Chair Yoga Found to Improve Quality of Life in People With Dementia
Physical exercise helps maintain good blood flow to the brain and may encourage new brain cell growth and survival. However, it can be difficult for people with dementia to participate in exercise programs due to impaired cognition or mobility issues. A recent study assessed the effects of chair yoga on people with moderate to severe dementia and found they were able to safely participate and that it may improve their quality of life.
Twenty-seven adults who had been diagnosed with moderate to severe
dementia participated in the study. Participants were assigned to participate
in chair yoga, music intervention, or a chair-based exercise program. They attended
the programs twice a week for 45 minutes for 12 weeks. The researchers measured
physical function and quality of life at baseline, 6 weeks, and 12 weeks.
All of the participants were able to safely take part in the programs.
The chair yoga group had significant improvements in quality of life compared
to the music intervention group. These improvements were seen in physical condition,
mood, functional abilities, interpersonal relationships, and ability to participate
in meaningful activities.
The study was conducted by researchers from Florida Atlantic
University. It was published online ahead of print on September 18, 2019 in the
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease & Other Dementias.