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Effects of Yoga Exercises on Heart Rate Variability Parameters and Perceived Stress in Adolescent Students with High Score in Perceived Stress

DOI: 10.4236/ojmp.2022.113012, PP. 158-169

Keywords: Autonomic Nervous System, Heart Rate Variability, Yoga

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Introduction: Hatha Yoga is a widely used form of holistic mind-body therapy for promoting health, and disease prevention like cardiovascular risks and part of treatment for neurological disorders. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of Hatha yoga on the autonomic nervous system by tracking acute changes in the time-domain and frequency-domain metrics of heart rate variability (HRV) in healthy International Baccalaureate students arranged in 3 different groups. Methods: The prospective interventional study was conducted among adolescent students in China. Thirty-six adolescent students were divided in three groups: 12 Hatha yoga experimental group participants; a control group of 12 students without participation in any activity and a recreational sport group of 12 other students. Outcomes measured were HRV parameters such as SDNN, RMSSD LF, HF, and LF/HF. Also, a Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 was used to measure stress and anxiety score in terms of Cognitive stress, Somatic Stress and Self Confidence. Results: Compared to baseline values, the Hatha yoga experiment group demonstrated a significant increase in HRV indices: SDNN 87.62 ± 13.89 (>0.0001) and RMSDD 86.61 ± 7.78 (>0.0001) respectively. In contrast it was documented after the 3 weeks of exposure to yoga training a statistically significant decrease in the frequency domain of LF 1911.53 ± 882.15 (0.0464) compared to baseline values. After completion of intervention the yoga experiment group HF (ms2) values were increased 3430.40 ± 858.38 (>0.0001). Decrease and increase in the HF (ms2) in the control and Hatha yoga group were statistically significant after following Hatha yoga. Cognitive anxiety 18.08 ± 6.30 (>0.0001) and Somatic anxiety 17.50 ± 6.33 (>0.0001) decreased after intervention with yoga and self-confidence increased significantly 32.50 ± 1.17 (>0.0001). Conclusions: The investigation showed a significant increase of HRV parameters and cardiac autonomic function as a result of exposure to Yoga practice. Also, there was significant evidence of decrease in cognitive stress and somatic stress; increased values of self-confidence at the end of three weeks yoga exposure in comparison to the baseline values.


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