Date of Award


Degree Type

Evidence-Based Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Julie A. Koch


Participation in a regular exercise program is an effective way to reduce and/or prevent a number of functional declines associated with aging (Chodzko-Zajo et al., 2009). Older adults are advised to participate in regular aerobic activity and practice muscle strengthening activities and exercise that maintains or improves balance (U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, [USDHHS], 2012). Less than one third of older adults engage in 30 minutes of low to moderate intense physical activity at least five days a week as recommended in current guidelines (USDHHS, 2012), and these guidelines fail to address losses in strength and flexibility seen among adults as they age. Extended periods of sitting or lack of movement can lead to muscular shortening, tightening, and weakening; joint deterioration; loss of flexibility; and lack of balance. Using the Iowa Model of Evidence-based Practice to Promote Quality Care and Kotter’s Eight Steps of Change as guides, this EBP project was implemented with the objective of evaluating the effect of 12 weeks of instructor-led yoga on physical balance of older adults residing in a retirement home. A pre- and post-intervention Berg Balance Scale (BBS) assessment was performed on15 older adults and scores were evaluated using paired sample t-tests. The BBS assessment score increased from M = 38.67 preintervention to M = 40.53 post-intervention, increase of 1.86 points (p = .001). Statistically significant increases were also noted in (a) standing unsupported with eyes closed (p = .001) and (b) sit to stand (p = .002). Overall, the yoga classes demonstrated a significant improvement in the balance of participants. These results indicated residents would benefit from continued yoga classes and implementation of a balance assessment.