UNITED STATES, January 15, 2019 (Nurse): As mindfulness and complementary health techniques become more mainstream, more Americans are adding yoga and meditation to their wellness routines. Survey results published by the National Institutes of Health found the number of American adults and children practicing yoga and meditation has risen significantly over the past five years. According to an NIH news release on the survey, 9.5% adults questioned in 2012 said they did yoga, with the number jumping to 14.3% by 2017. For meditation just 4.1% of adults said they used the method in 2012, with 14.2% of adults using meditation in the 2017 survey. The survey was part of a complementary health questionnaire developed by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, part of the National Institutes of Health, and by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.
The survey found women were more likely to use yoga and meditation in the past 12 months than men in 2017. For children, the survey found the number of children ages 4-7 who used yoga in the past year had a large increase of 3.7% in 2012 to 8.4% in 2017. Meditation among children also saw significant increases, with 5.4% using meditation in 2017. Girls were more likely to have done yoga in the past 12 months than boys in 2017, the news release stated. According to the American Osteopathic Association, benefits of yoga include increased flexibility, muscle strength and tone, improved energy and respiration, weight reduction and improved cardio and circulatory health. The practice also helps manage stress, relaxes the mind and sharpens concentration, according to the association’s website.