Recent research by the University of Sheffield has found there are many therapeutic benefits of yoga. The research was commissioned by the British Wheel of Yoga from the School of Health and Related Research. You can download or read a copy of the research findings from the BWY website, either as a summary presentation or the full report. The researchers undertook a detailed review of the published literature on the therapeutic benefits of yoga and analysed 40 studies in total.
The key headline findings are that yoga can:
- Effectively improve osteoarthritis of the hand
- Improve some subjective symptoms in asthma suffers
- Effectively treat chronic low back pain and some of its side effects
- Benefit those with cancer
- Help people with depression
- Reduce the risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease in healthy people
- Improve cognitive function and perceived stress during the menopause
- Effectively treat stress
- Have a positive effect on overweight women with problems with binge eating
- Benefit women both before and during giving birth.
The conclusion is that “Despite some flaws and gaps in the current body of evidence, there is much to support the use of yoga for both mental and physical health, in both the healthy general population and for people with some common health conditions.”
Great news for everyone!
23/3/13 – Update – If you’re interested in this area of the benefits of exercise, you might want to take at look at this Research Summaries blog where they have written a blog post listing and referencing research that shows the wider benefits of exercise, including by illness type, intensity, frequency and duration of exercise.