Date of Award

12-2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

Advisor

Dr. Brett A. Wright

Committee Member

Dr. Alison L. Cory

Committee Member

Dr. Francis A. McGuire

Committee Member

Dr. Sandra M. Linder

Committee Member

Dr. Paula J. Watt

Abstract

During midlife, it is expected that women will progress towards the biological state of menopause; the permanent condition of infertility due to alterations or diminution of reproductive hormones. Typically lasting 5-10 years, the menopausal transition is associated with symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, interrupted sleep, anxiety, forgetfulness, and inconsistent mood. As these symptoms often hinder a women's successful functioning in everyday life, hormone therapy is commonly prescribed as a means for diminishing symptoms. However, many women are seeking alternative/complementary treatments that can assist in managing menopausal symptoms due to the detrimental health-risks associated with the use of conventional therapies. The purpose of this mixed methods study was (a) to determine the effects of participation in a ten-week yoga intervention on the physiological symptoms experienced by women during menopause; and (b) to determine to what extent a change in symptoms can be attributed to yoga, as opposed to any other form of physical activity. Findings support previous literature indicating there to be a direct relationship between yoga participation and a reduction in the severity and/or frequency of menopausal symptoms. Additional results support an indirect relationship between yoga participation and improved management of menopausal symptoms due to decreased levels of perceived stress.

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