International Journal of Yoga
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 156-159
Yoga for functional fitness in adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities

1 Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, College of Public Health, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA
2 Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, College of Behavioral, Social, and Health Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA
3 Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Health and Human Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA

Correspondence Address:
Anita M Reina
Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, College of Public Health, University of Georgia, 251 C Wright Hall, 100 Foster Rd., Athens, GA 30602
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_57_19

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Background: Yoga is an effective intervention to improve functional fitness in adults with and without disabilities, but little research exists regarding yoga's impact on functional fitness for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs). Aims: The purpose of this study was to examine the benefits of a group yoga intervention on the functional fitness of adults with IDDs. Methods and Materials: This yoga intervention included 12 sessions of yoga over 7 weeks (60-min sessions twice a week) at a special population recreation and leisure program. The functional fitness test was used to examine physical functioning before and after the yoga intervention. Results and Conclusions: Eight adults completed the baseline and posttest measures (age mean = 31; standard deviation = 6.55; 50% male). There were significant improvements in lower-body strength (9.00 ± 4.63 vs. 11.50 ± 3.16, P = 0.04, 28% improvement), upper-body strength (11.25 ± 3.54 vs. 14.25 ± 3.37, P = 0.018, 27% improvement), and agility and balance (9.29 ± 4.1 vs. 6.60 ± 1.54, P = 0.036, 29% improvement). Functional fitness often declines for people with IDD at a faster rate than the general population; thus, these significant changes indicate that a yoga intervention may enhance functional fitness for people with IDD. Clinicians or other healthcare providers might consider yoga as a means to improve functional fitness in adults with IDDs.

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