Published Papers - Abstract 897

Cramer H, Sibbritt D, Adams J & Lauche R. The association between regular yoga and meditation practice and falls and injuries: Results of a national cross-sectional survey among Australian Women. Maturitas, 2016; 84: 38-41

Introduction: Falls are the leading cause of injuries in women across all ages. While yoga has been shown to increase balance, it has also been associated with injuries due to falls during practice. This study aimed to analyse whether regular yoga or meditation practice is associated with the frequency of falls and fall-related injuries in upper middle-aged Australian women.Methods: Women aged 59–64 years from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH) were queried regarding falls and falls-related injuries; and whether they regularly practiced yoga or meditation. Associations of falls and falls-related injuries with yoga or meditation practice were analysed using chi-squared tests and multiple logistic regression modelling.Results: Of 10,011 women, 4413 (44.1%) had slipped, tripped or stumbled, 2770 (27.7%) had fallen to the ground, 1398 (14.0%) had been injured as a result of falling, and 901 (9.0%) women had sought medical attention for a fall-related injury within the previous 12 months. Yoga or meditation was practiced regularly by 746 (7.5%) women. No associations of falls, fall-related injuries and treatment due to falls-related injury with yoga or meditation practice were found.Discussion: No association between yoga or meditation practice and falls or fall-related injuries have been found. Further studies are warranted for conclusive judgement of benefits and safety of yoga and meditation in relation to balance, falls and fall-related injuries.