Published Papers - Abstract 943

Cramer H, Sibbritt D, Park CL, Adams J & Lauche R. Is the practice of yoga or meditation associated with a healthy lifestyle? Results of a national cross-sectional survey of 28695 Australian Women. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 2017; 101: 104-109

Objectives: To examine the relationship between yoga/meditation practice and health behavior in Australian women.Methods: Women aged 19–25 years, 31–36 years, and 62–67 years from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH) were surveyed regarding smoking, alcohol or drug use, physical activity and dietary behavior; and whether they practiced yoga/meditation on a regular basis. Associations of health behaviors with yoga/meditation practice were analyzed using multiple logistic regression modelling.Results: 11,344, 8200, and 9151 women aged 19–25 years, 31–36 years, and 62–67 years, respectively, were included of which 29.0%, 21.7%, and 20.7%, respectively, practiced yoga/meditation. Women practicing yoga/meditation were significantly more likely to report at least moderate physical activity levels (OR = 1.50–2.79), to follow a vegetarian (OR = 1.67–3.22) or vegan (OR = 2.26–3.68) diet, and to report the use of marijuana (OR = 1.28–1.89) and illicit drugs in the last 12 months (OR = 1.23–1.98).Conclusions: Yoga/meditation practice was associated with higher physical activity levels, a higher likelihood of vegetarian or vegan diet use, and a higher likelihood of drug use. While health professionals should keep the potential vulnerability of yoga/meditation practitioners to drug use in mind, the positive associations of yoga/meditation with a variety of positive health behaviors warrant its consideration in preventive medicine and healthcare.

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