The effect of web-based Hatha yoga on psychological distress and sleep quality in older adults: A randomized controlled trial

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2023 Feb:50:101715. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2022.101715. Epub 2022 Dec 13.


Background: To date, there has been very limited experimental research on the impact of Yoga on older adults' mental health during the COVID-19 crisis. We aimed to explore the effect of a web-based Hatha yoga program on psychological and quality of sleep in older adults who self-isolated at home during the initial stage of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Methods: Two hundred volunteers of both sexes were split into experimental (Yoga group, YG) and control (Control group, CG) groups, in a web-based randomized controlled study. All participants were administered the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS-21) and the Pittsburgh sleep quality index (PSQI); at baseline and following an eight-week online Hatha yoga intervention.

Results: The YG showed significant reductions in depression (-56.1%; Z = 5.67, p < 0.01, r = 0.70) anxiety (-64.3%; Z = 5.27, p < 0.01, r = 0.65) and stress (-68.2%; Z = 5.86, r = 0.73) scores, while the CG showed a significant increase in depression. In addition, the total PSQI score of the YG was considerably lower during follow-up (3.38 ± 2.02, p < 0.05) than at baseline (4.8 ± 32, p < 0.05), which indicates an improvement of the quality of sleep. The proportion of individuals experiencing good sleep from the YG increased from 63% to 85% after the Hatha yoga intervention.

Conclusion: The use of a web-based Hatha Yoga intervention program was associated with a beneficial effect on the mental health and quality of sleep in older adults.

Keywords: COVID-19; Distress; Older adults; Quality of sleep; Yoga.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • COVID-19*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Psychological Distress*
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Sleep Quality*
  • Yoga*