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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 501986, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/501986
Research Article

Fifteen Minutes of Chair-Based Yoga Postures or Guided Meditation Performed in the Office Can Elicit a Relaxation Response

1School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW 1797, Australia
2Centre for Complementary Medicine Research, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW 1797, Australia
3School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia

Received 19 July 2011; Accepted 8 October 2011

Academic Editor: David Mischoulon

Copyright © 2012 Geoffrey W. Melville et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This study compared acute (15 min) yoga posture and guided meditation practice, performed seated in a typical office workspace, on physiological and psychological markers of stress. Twenty participants (  yr) completed three conditions: yoga, meditation, and control (i.e., usual work) separated by ≥24 hrs. Yoga and meditation significantly reduced perceived stress versus control, and this effect was maintained postintervention. Yoga increased heart rate while meditation reduced heart rate versus control ( ). Respiration rate was reduced during yoga and meditation versus control ( ). Domains of heart rate variability (e.g., SDNN and Total Power) were significantly reduced during control versus yoga and meditation. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure were reduced secondary to meditation versus control only ( ). Physiological adaptations generally regressed toward baseline postintervention. In conclusion, yoga postures or meditation performed in the office can acutely improve several physiological and psychological markers of stress. These effects may be at least partially mediated by reduced respiration rate.