A Comparison of Blood Viscosity and Hematocrit Levels between Yoga Practitioners and Sedentary Adults




Shadiow, James
Tarumi, Takashi
Dhindsa, Mandeep
Hunter, Stacy D.

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Berkeley Electronic Press


Elevations in whole blood viscosity (WBV) and hematocrit (Hct), have been linked with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Endurance training has been demonstrated to lower WBV and Hct; however, evidence supporting the efficacy of yoga on these measures is sparse. A cross-sectional study was conducted examining WBV and Hct levels between yoga practitioners with a minimum of 3 years of consistent practice and sedentary, healthy adults. Blood samples were collected from a total of 42 participants: 23 sedentary adults and 19 regular yoga practitioners. Brachial arterial blood pressure (BP) was measured and the averages of 3 measures were reported. The yoga practitioner group had significantly lower WBV at 45 s-1 (p < 0.01), 90 s-1 (p < 0.01), 220 s-1 (p < 0.05), and 450 s-1 (p < 0.05) than sedentary participants. No significant group differences in Hct (p =0.38) were found. A tendency toward lower systolic BP (p=0.06) was observed in the yoga practitioner group; however, no significant group differences in BP were exhibited. A consistent yoga practice was associated with lower WBV, a health indicator related to CVD risk. These findings support a regular yoga practice as a valid form of exercise for improving rheological indicators of cardiovascular health.



alternative exercise, rheological factors, biomarkers, cross-sectional, cardiovascular disease, Health and Human Performance


Shadiow, J., Tarumi, T., Dhindsa, M., & Hunter, S. D. (2018). A comparison of blood viscosity and hematocrit levels between yoga practitioners and sedentary adults. International Journal of Exercise Science, 11(2), pp. 425–432.


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