Original research| Volume 21, ISSUE 4, P352-357, April 2018

Effect of a 16-week Bikram yoga program on perceived stress, self-efficacy and health-related quality of life in stressed and sedentary adults: A randomised controlled trial

Published:August 22, 2017DOI:



      The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of 16 weeks of Bikram yoga on perceived stress, self-efficacy and health related quality of life (HRQoL) in sedentary, stressed adults.


      16 week, parallel-arm, randomised controlled trial with flexible dosing.


      Physically inactive, stressed adults (37.2 ± 10.8 years) were randomised to Bikram yoga (three to five classes per week) or control (no treatment) group for 16 weeks. Outcome measures, collected via self-report, included perceived stress, general self-efficacy, and HRQoL. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, midpoint and completion.


      Individuals were randomised to the experimental (n = 29) or control group (n = 34). Average attendance in the experimental group was 27 ± 18 classes. Repeated measure analyses of variance (intention-to-treat) demonstrated significantly improved perceived stress (p = 0.003, partial η2 = 0.109), general self-efficacy (p = 0.034, partial η2 = 0.056), and the general health (p = 0.034, partial η2 = 0.058) and energy/fatigue (p = 0.019, partial η2 = 0.066) domains of HRQoL in the experimental group versus the control group. Attendance was significantly associated with reductions in perceived stress, and an increase in several domains of HRQoL.


      16 weeks of Bikram yoga significantly improved perceived stress, general self-efficacy and HRQoL in sedentary, stressed adults. Future research should consider ways to optimise adherence, and should investigate effects of Bikram yoga intervention in other populations at risk for stress-related illness.

      Trial registration

      Australia New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12616000867493. Registered 04 July 2016. URL:


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