Yoga for seniors: understanding their beliefs about and barriers to participation

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Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Nursing
Department Nursing
Author Perkins, Rebekah
Title Yoga for seniors: understanding their beliefs about and barriers to participation
Date 2017
Description Extensive research has been published on the benefits of yoga for older adults; however, little is known about older adults’ beliefs and perceived barriers to participating in yoga. The purpose of this research was to conduct an exploratory study that examined older adults’ beliefs about yoga with regard to experiences, knowledge about location, affordability, accessibility, and perceived barriers to engaging in yoga. A convenience sample of faint-and-fall clinic patients aged 55 years and older was surveyed about home environment and physical activity levels. The Beliefs About Yoga Scale (BAYS) was used to measure beliefs about and perceived barriers to yoga. Participants were asked to describe intentions to practice yoga, as well as social and environmental barriers. Survey data were linked to demographic and health-status medical record data. The theoretical framework, Theory of Planned Behavior, guided this research. Participants (N = 37) had a mean age of 72.81 years; 59.5% were female. Participants were prefrail (66.7%) or frail (33.3%), and most (78.4%) had fallen in the past year. The majority (>72%) did not engage in more than light physical activity. The BAYS mean score was 59.17 (SD = 12.5), with a possible range of 11 to 77. This score was not significantly different than a previously reported BAYS score (M = 55.62; SD = 8.58) (p = 0.138; t (28) = 1.53; independent sample t-test). The study sample had fairly positive beliefs about yoga, as measured by the BAYS, and mean scores did not differ significantly from previously reported scores from a middle-aged sample. More than 90% of participants had no past or current yoga experience, 97.1% had no intentions to practice yoga, 61.8% did not know locations of classes, 82.4% did not know the average class cost, and only 56.3% reported having available transportation to yoga classes. The top three barriers to practicing yoga were level of difficulty, lack of motivation, and fear of injury. Interestingly, 23.7% of participants did not answer questions about yoga, even though they answered questions about physical activity. Overall, participants held positive beliefs about yoga, yet showed limited experience and little intention to participate in a yoga program. More research to devise yoga classes tailored to the needs of older adults is warranted.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject aging; beliefs; benefits; frailty; physcial activity; yoga
Dissertation Name Master of Science
Language eng
Rights Management ©Rebekah Perkins
Format Medium application/pdf
ARK ark:/87278/s63f8twj
Setname ir_etd
ID 1345367
Reference URL
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