Nearly 9 percent of Americans reported practicing yoga in 2012. And most of them don’t do so in response to a specific health condition. Most are more likely to partake in the ancient activity in search of overall wellness.
Newly-released data from the Centers for Disease Control shows that only 18 percent of yogis said they did the activity to address a specific health condition, while 94 percent cited wellness-related reasons.
The same is true to a lesser degree for the nearly 18 percent of Americans who reported taking natural supplements. While 45 percent said they took supplements to address a condition, 89 percent cited wellness factors as key motivators.
That’s in contrast to spinal manipulation, which, like yoga, is touted by its proponents as both an effective way to deal with specific physical conditions as well as a good move for everybody seeking a better quality of life. The report found that 8 percent of Americans had taken part in the alternative health approach in 2012, and that two-thirds of them cited a specific medical condition in seeking the care.
That’s not to say those going to chiropractors or other spine specialists reject wellness; 53 percent of them cited wellness reasons.
The good news from the CDC report is that those who engage in each of the three health-oriented activities reported feeling healthier and better as a result.
But yoga was No. 1. Those who practice yoga were much more likely to report a number of positive wellness and health-related outcomes.
Sixty-three percent of those who do yoga reported exercising more as a result, compared to 16 percent of those who take supplements and 21 percent of those who seek spinal manipulation.
And, 43 percent of yogis reported eating better as a result, compared to 22 percent of those taking supplements and 10 percent of those who have had their spines manipulated.
Among those who practice yoga, 12 percent reported cutting down on booze and 25 percent cut back on smoking or quit. Less than 5 percent of those engaging in the other activities reported changing drinking habits and less than 10 percent said it led them to reduce or quit smoking.