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EFFECT OF YOGA TRAINING ON HANDGRIP, RESPIRATORY PRESSURES AND PULMONARY FUNCTION


Mandanmohan, Lakshmi Jatiya, Kaviraja Udupa and Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani

Department of Physiology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry - 605 006

Abstract: Although there are a number of reports on the effect of yoga training on pulmonary functions, very few studies have been undertaken on the effect of yoga training on respiratory pressures and handgrip endurance. Hence the present work was planned to study the effect of yoga training on hand grip strength (HGS), hand grip endurance (HGE), maximum expiratory pressure (MEP), maximum inspiratory pressure (MIP), forced expiratory volume (FEV), forced expiratory volume in first second (FEV1) and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR). 20 school children in the age group of 12 to 15 years were given yoga training (asans and pranayams) for 6 months. 20 age and gender-matched students formed the control group. Yoga training produced statistically significant (P<0.05) increase in HGS and HGE. MEP, MIP, FEV, FEV1 and PEFR also increased significantly (P<0.001) after the yoga training. In contrast, the increase in these parameters in the control group was statistically insignificant. Our study shows that yoga training for 6 months improves lung function, strength of inspiratory and expiratory muscles as well as skeletal muscle strength and endurance. It is suggested that yoga be introduced at school level in order to improve physiological functions, overall health and performance of students.

Key words: Yoga training, pulmonary functions, respiratory muscle strength, muscle endurance  


There are a number of reports on the effect of yoga training on pulmonary functions like forced expiratory volume (FEV), forced expiratory volume in 1st second (FEV1) and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). However, very few workers have studied the effect of yoga training on respiratory pressures i.e. maximum expiratory pressure (MEP) and maximum inspiratory pressure (MIP). Respiratory pressures are easily measured, objective and sensitive indices of respiratory muscle strength and can be altered in disease states even when other commonly measured pulmonary function tests show little abnormality (6). In an earlier work, we have found that yoga training for 12 weeks results in a significant improvement in MEP and MIP in normal young volunteers (7). In the same study, we also observed a significant increase in handgrip strength (HGS) after yoga training and this is in agreement with the findings of other workers (8, 9, 10). However, the effect of yoga training on handgrip endurance (HGE) has been studied by only a few workers. While Tran et al (10) have reported a significant increase in muscular endurance after 8 weeks yoga training program, Dash and Telles (11) have concluded that yoga training does not increase muscle endurance. Handgrip dynamometry is an indicator of muscle function and nutritional status. As an objective and accurate physiological test that is easy to perform, it can be used as a bedside test to predict preoperative nutritional status and postoperative complications (12). Keeping this in mind, we planned to study the effect of yoga training on these parameters. Since most of the studies on the effect of yoga training on pulmonary functions have been conducted on subjects above 18 yr in age, the present study was carried out on school going children from younger age (12-15 yr) group.

 
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