London: Yoga can improve the mood and mental well-being of prisoners and may also have an effect on impulsive behavior, an Oxford University study published on Thursday suggests.

Reporting their findings in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, researchers said prisons see rates of mental health problems that are many times higher than the general population, reports an agency.

Inmates from a range of ages were randomly assigned to either a course of 10-weekly yoga sessions of 90 minutes or to a control group.

"We found that the group that did the yoga course showed an improvement in positive mood, a decrease in stress and greater accuracy in a computer test of impulsivity and attention," said Amy Bilderbeck, the study leader.

If yoga was associated with improving behaviour control, as suggested by the results of the computer test, there may be implications for managing aggression, anti-social or problem behavior in prisons and on return to society, researchers noted.


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