The impact of yoga on the quality of life and functional performance of Chinese older people

M.M.L. Pau, W.K.W. So, Kwai Ping Lorna Suen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Purpose of research: Yoga has a remarkably long history originating in India. Numerous studies have shown its benefits to health. Given the ageing population, exploring the impact of yoga on the physical and psychosocial well-being of older people in Hong Kong is worthwhile in order to improve their quality of life. This study aims to examine the effects of yoga on the quality of life and functional performance of community-dwelling older people in Hong Kong.||Methods: A 12-week quasi-experimental study was conducted with a two-group pretest-posttest control group design based on subject preferences. The subjects were selected based on the criteria that they must be community-dwelling older people aged 60 and above, yoga novices, able to speak Cantonese and cognitively sound. The assessment tools included Timed Up-and-go Test (TUGT) and One-leg Stand Test (OLST) to measure the functional performance and the Short Form (36) Health Survey (SF-36) was used to measure the quality of life. Altogether, 135 subjects were recruited from five community centres. The data for the main study were collected from July 2011 to January 2012.||Results and conclusions: A total of 127 completed the main study, with the attrition rate of 5.9%. After 12 weeks of intervention, significant differences were found in the overall physical (p=0.015) and mental components (p=0.023) in the summary measures of SF-36 between the intervention and control groups. Significant improvement was likewise observed in TUGT (p<0.001) but not in OLST results (p=0.438) of the intervention group.||Innovation: A 12-week yoga programme could improve the quality of life and gait speed of the participants. Positive information about the benefits of this exercise should be promoted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-63
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of physical therapy and health promotion
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Yoga
  • Older people
  • Quality of life
  • Functional performance


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