1. This cross-sectional study found that a 100-day virtual yoga and meditation program resulted in improved health-related quality of life (HRQOL).
2. Participants who reported over two years of meditation experience had significantly greater improvements in HRQOL than those who did not.
Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)
It is well-established that yoga and meditation may improve mental and physical wellbeing through relaxation. Consistent yoga and meditation programming over an extended period confers strong benefits to HRQOL. One of the major barriers to compliance with these programs is accessibility. Accordingly, virtual guidance may represent a way to deliver yoga and meditation to individuals across broad geographic regions, improving adherence and associated benefits.
The present cross-sectional study assessed the impact of a 100-day yoga and meditation program on HRQOL. Daily programming included sessions of yoga, meditation, and speakers discussing effective relaxation practice. Participants in the program were given the option to participate in the study through online survey, with no exclusion criteria. The main outcome of the study was change in HRQOL scores following program participation. Seven domains of HRQOL were measured: quality of life, healthy lifestyle, relaxation, stress, coping, productivity, and ability to maintain health habits.
In total, 3,164 participants completed the survey (mean age 33.8; 52% female) from 39 countries. Most participants were students from India who had previous experience with yoga. Approximately half of participants completed all 100 days of programming with an average participant rate of 71 days. Participants with previous experience practicing yoga reported significantly greater improvements in HRQOL as compared to those who did not. Across all study participants, the yoga and meditation program was associated with significant improvement in all seven domains of HRQOL. However, this study was limited as participants voluntarily chose to be involved in the study (which may have biased the study population to those more engaged in the program), and there was no control group. In summary, virtually delivered yoga and meditation programs may provide an accessible means of improving HRQOL.
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