Chair yoga more effective than music therapy in older adults with advanced dementia

As dementia progresses, the ability to participate in exercise programs declines. Sticking to a program also becomes challenging because of impaired cognition, mobility issues or risk of falls and fractures – some exercise regimens are just too complicated or physically demanding. Although studies have shown the benefits of physical activity on dementia, few have included participants with moderate-to-severe dementia or examined the effects of gentle types of exercise on this population. Researchers tried to examine the effects of chair yoga on older adults with moderate-to-severe dementia who are unable to participate in regular exercise or standing yoga due to cognitive impairment, problems with balance, or fear of falling.

Participants in each groups attended 45-minute sessions twice a week for 12 weeks. Researchers examined the effects of chair yoga on physical function, including balance and mobility, and compared the effects with chair-based exercise and music intervention. They also looked at the effects of chair yoga on reducing psychological symptoms like anxiety and depression, behavioral symptoms like agitation or aggression, and improved quality of life. They also explored the effects of chair yoga on sleep problems.  Thus, chair yoga can improve the quality of life of dementia patients. It’s also important that this practice is much safer than other forms of exercise, as it reduces the number of possible falls and fractures.

Materials provided by Florida Atlantic University.

Oct. 4, 2019, 11:43 a.m.

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