The Psychophysiological Profile and Cardiac Autonomic Reactivity in Long-Term Female Yoga Practitioners: A Comparison with Runners and Sedentary Individuals

Jia Ru Lin, Pei Tzu Wu, Wen Lan Wu, Yu Kai Chang, I. Hua Chu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Yoga practice, a means of stress management, has been reported to optimize psychophys-iological health; however, its underlying mechanisms remain unclear. The purpose of the present study was to examine the psychophysiological profile and cardiac autonomic reactivity in long-term yoga practitioners and compare them to runners and sedentary individuals. Psychological health and aerobic fitness level were evaluated using self-reported questionnaires and a 3-min step test. Blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), respiration rate (RR), and heart rate variability (HRV) parameters were recorded at rest, as well as during and following psychological stress, which was elicited by the Stroop color and word test and the mental arithmetic task. The yoga group demonstrated a lower RR (10.35 ± 2.13 bpm) as compared to the other two groups, and a lower HR (66.60 ± 7.55 bpm) and diastolic BP (67.75 ± 8.38 mmHg) at rest when compared to the sedentary group (all p < 0.05). HRV parameters following mental stress returned to the baseline in yoga and running groups, but not in the sedentary group. The anxiety level in the running group was significantly lower than that in the sedentary group (p < 0.05). These findings suggested that yoga practitioners may have a greater homeostatic capacity and autonomic resilience than do sedentary individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7671
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume19
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul 1

Keywords

  • cardiovascular reactivity
  • heart rate variability
  • running
  • stress response
  • yoga

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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