Functional fitness improvements after a worksite-based yoga initiative

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2010 Jan;14(1):50-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2009.02.006.


This study explored the benefits of yoga on functional fitness, flexibility, and perceived stress. A quasi-experimental design was used to measure benefits of yoga in sample of firefighters from a major metropolitan fire department. Yoga classes were conducted on-shift, in the fire stations over the period of 6 weeks. The classes included pranayama (breathing), asana (postures), and savasana (relaxation); 108 firefighters enrolled in the study, most were physically active but had no prior experience with yoga. Baseline and post-yoga assessments were completed by 77 participants. Paired t-tests revealed significant improvements in the Functional Movement Screen, a seven item test that measures functional fitness. Improvements were also noted in trunk flexibility and perceived stress. Participants also reported favorable perceptions of yoga: feeling more focused and less musculoskeletal pain. These findings - along with the retention of the majority of the participants - indicate that participants benefited from yoga.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Rescue Work*
  • Stress, Psychological*
  • Workplace*
  • Yoga*