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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 607134, 9 pages
Research Article

A Randomized Controlled Trial on the Effects of Yoga on Stress Reactivity in 6th Grade Students

Department of Physical Therapy, Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, One University Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA

Received 17 October 2012; Revised 3 January 2013; Accepted 6 January 2013

Academic Editor: I-Min Liu

Copyright © 2013 Marshall Hagins 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.


There is an increasing interest in developing school programs that improve the ability of children to cope with psychosocial stress. Yoga may be an appropriate intervention as it has demonstrated improvements in the ability of children to manage psychosocial stress. Yoga is thought to improve the control of reactivity to stress via the regulation of the autonomic nervous system. The current study examined the effects of yoga compared to a physical education class on physiological response (blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR)) to behavioral stressor tasks (mental arithmetic and mirror tracing tasks). Data analysis of BP and HR was performed using a 2 × 2 × 4 repeated measures ANOVA (time × group × stressor time points). 30 (17 male) 6th graders participated in the study. Yoga did not provide significant differences in stress reactivity compared to a physical education class (group × time: systolic ( , ); diastolic ( , ); HR ( , )). The lack of significant differences may be due to the yoga intervention failing to focus on stress management and/or the stressor tasks not adequately capturing attenuation of stressor response.