Kirsty Dickson
Dentistry
5th year
How Yoga Can be Utilised to Reduce Student Anxiety
Abstract
Yoga has been postulated as a method of reducing anxiety since the practice was born in 3000 BCE, and it has many researched physical and mental benefits, including the ability to practice mindfulness, develop coping mechanisms, and alter the body’s stress responses. To see if yoga may help reduce student stress, this study investigated the effect of a six-week yoga course on medical, veterinary and life sciences (MVLS) students, who have long been seen as a high-risk cohort. Analysing Hamilton Anxiety Scales (HAS) scores, used as a clinical measure of anxiety, found a statically significant reduction in students’ anxiety levels after each yoga session. Furthermore, all students involved in the study stated they benefitted from being a part of the yoga club and 90% felt yoga reduced their anxiety. These positive effects provide evidence that yoga could be used as an intervention to promote and protect student wellbeing, and this study invites universities to reassess their current approach to mental health and utilise preventative measures to reduce the prevalence of mental health issues.
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