Increasing Trend of Yoga Practice among U.S. Adults from 2002 to 2017

Yan Zhang, Romy Lauche, Holger Cramer, Niki Munk, Jeff A. Dennis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction: Benefits, risks, and the increasing popularity of yoga use warrant assessing yoga practice prevalence and users' profiles. This study describes trends in yoga practice exclusively among American adults from 2002 to 2017, compares the profile of yoga users, and identifies factors related to yoga use over time. Materials and Methods: This study is a secondary analysis done in 2019 and 2020 using the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) 2002, 2007, 2012, and 2017 data. Population weights were used to obtain statistically accurate estimates of yoga use prevalence for the U.S. population. Descriptive statistics were used to profile the sociodemographic and health-related characteristics of yoga users. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with yoga use in each cohort defined by the NHIS year. Results: Yoga practice prevalence nearly tripled from 5.1% in 2002 to 13.7% in 2017 (weighted estimate 10,386,456 and 32,761,194 American adults, respectively). Typical yoga users were young non-Hispanic single white female adults with bachelor or higher education and health insurance, and resided in the west region of the United States. Yoga use pattern change over time was significantly related to only younger age (p < 0.001) but not to other sociodemographic or health-related factors. Conclusions: Yoga has gained increasing popularity in the past two decades among American adults, with younger adults being the driving force. Yoga appears to be adopted for general well-being or prevention more than for specific disease treatment. Future research should evaluate how yoga can be effectively and safely integrated into preventive medicine strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)778-785
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021


  • American adult
  • National Health Interview Survey
  • trend
  • well-being
  • yoga


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