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The immediate and durable effects of yoga and physical fitness exercises on stress

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 14:16 authored by Tong, J, Qi, X, He, Z, Chen, S, Scott PedersenScott Pedersen, Cooley, PD, Spencer-Rodgers, J, He, S, Zhu, X

Objective: This study aimed to examine the effects of yoga and physical fitness exercises on stress and the underlying mechanisms.

Participants: Healthy undergraduates from four yoga and four fitness classes participated in Study 1 (n = 191) and Study 2 (n = 143), respectively (in 2017 Fall).

Methods: Study 1 evaluated the immediate effect (a 60-minute practice) while Study 2 evaluated the durable effect (a 12-week intervention).

Results: Results showed that immediate stress reduction was more salient in the yoga group than that in the fitness group in Study 1. Yoga group had a greater increase in mindfulness, which predicted stress reduction. Similar observations were made in Study 2 showing the durable effect of yoga on stress reduction through mindfulness.

Conclusions: Yoga intervention is better than fitness exercises in helping undergraduates cultivate mindfulness and reduce stress. These findings may guide future interventions in stress management in college students.


Publication title

Journal of American College Health






Faculty of Education


Heldref Publications

Place of publication

1319 Eighteenth St Nw, Washington, USA, Dc, 20036-1802

Rights statement

Copyright 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Behaviour and health; Mental health