A Study of Effectiveness of a Five-Week Wii Fit Yoga Training Program on Flexibility and Balance in College-Aged Females.

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Dr. Maureen Dunn

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This study was designed to determine if five weeks of Wii Fit Yoga training would result in significant improvements in flexibility and balance. It was hypothesized that Wii Fit Yoga training (WII, n=8), which required the completion of 12 yoga poses (30 minutes) on each of three days per week for five weeks would result in greater improvements in flexibility and balance than no training (CON, n=7). All participants were assessed for flexibility and static balance before and after the five-week program. Following training, both groups improved in the following measures: sit and reach flexibility (pre: 39.77 ± 2.35 cm, post: 42.34±1.98 cm, p=.014), left hip extension (pre: 32.63±2.56º, post: 38.36±2.5º, p=.018), left shoulder extension (pre: 54.34±3.4º, post: 60.85±3.23º, p=.005), and balance as assessed by center of pressure path length during quiet standing on two feet with eyes open (pre: 46.98±2.65 cm, post: 47.0±2.48cm, p=.014). The only measurement that resulted in a greater improvement in the WII group (pre: 177.5±0.98, post: 179.25±1.00º), compared to CON (pre: 180.0±1.05, post: 179.29±1.07º) following the training period was left shoulder flexion (p=0.012). Therefore, Wii Fit Yoga training was not shown to improve balance or flexibility (with the exception of right shoulder flexion) compared to no training. For future research, it may be beneficial to better familiarize the participants with the assessment procedures to minimize learning effects, and to have the study last longer than five weeks.

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