October 02, 2019
Chair yoga may increase quality of life for adults diagnosed with dementia better than other forms of therapy, including music therapy, according to a new study.
Researchers found that adults with dementia improved when they followed a chair yoga exercise regime as opposed to using music therapy or chair-based exercise, according to a study published in American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias
Researchers examined data from 31 participants with dementia, 60 years old and older, by grouping the participants into three therapy groups: chair yoga, chair-based exercise, and music therapy. Patients then participated in the exercise programs for 45 minutes, twice a week, for a total of 12 weeks. Of the 31 participants, 27 completed the program.
The study found that not only were participants capable of participating these types of therapy, more than 97% of the participants fully engaged in each session. Quality of life significantly improved for members of the chair yoga group versus those in the music therapy group.
Patients in the chair yoga and chair-based exercise groups showed improvement over time, while those in the music therapy group declined. Those who participated in chair yoga and chair-based exercise also reported feeling less depressed.
There was no significant increase or decrease in physical function, sleep quality, or anxiety among all three groups. Though, hand strength did improve for those in the chair yoga group.
While there is research that shows exercising can benefit people diagnosed with dementia, it is often tricky for those patients to participate in physical activities due to mobility issues and the risk of falling. This is a first-of-its-kind study examining gentler forms of exercise on dementia patients.