Effects of Modified Hatha Yoga in Industrial Rehabilitation on Physical Fitness and Stress of Injured Workers
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- Rachiwong, S., Panasiriwong, P., Saosomphop, J. et al. J Occup Rehabil (2015) 25: 669. doi:10.1007/s10926-015-9574-5
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Purpose The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of 8 weeks of modified hatha yoga training on physical fitness and stress level in injured workers. Methods Eighteen male and female injured workers, age between 18 and 55 years, participated in this study. They were divided into two groups: an additive hatha yoga training to routine industrial rehabilitation program group (HYG: n = 9) and a control group with no yoga training (CG: n = 9). A modified hatha yoga protocol was designed for this population by two certified yoga instructors, approved by a physical therapist, and conducted for 1 h, three times weekly for 8 weeks. Physical fitness variables including flexibility of lower back and hamstrings, hand grip strength and lung capacity and scores of sensitivity to stress were evaluated at the time of recruitment and after 8 weeks of intervention. Results The values of all physical fitness variables and stress scores were no significant difference between the two groups at baseline. Significant post-yoga improvements for HYG group were noted in flexibility, hand grip strength, and vital capacity (p < 0.05). In contrast, there was no significant change in the CG group. Stress scores did not change as a result of hatha yoga training. Conclusion An 8-week modified hatha yoga training experience exerted therapeutic effects on physical fitness variables including flexibility of lower back and hamstrings, hand grip strength and vital capacity, but not on stress level in injured workers. These findings indicate that hatha yoga can be a beneficial adjunct to routine physical therapy treatment in industrial rehabilitation programs.