• P-ISSN 0974-6846 E-ISSN 0974-5645

Indian Journal of Science and Technology


Indian Journal of Science and Technology

Year: 2022, Volume: 15, Issue: 38, Pages: 1923-1931

Original Article

Physical Activity, Yoga and Meditation in Improving Immunity and Fighting Against Viral Respiratory Infections - A Systematic Review . (An Aid to COVID-19 and such Pandemics).

Received Date:01 May 2022, Accepted Date:08 August 2022, Published Date:14 October 2022


Objectives: The primary objective of the present study was to systematically review the Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) pertaining to the effect of physical activity, yoga and meditation in improving immunity and fighting against viral respiratory infections. Introduction: The current ongoing pandemic has tormented the whole world for the last two years. There have been many pandemics to date due to viruses that infect the respiratory system specifically, but the current pandemic of COVID-19 has caused deleterious harm physically, mentally and financially. Immunity can be acquired by pharmacological and non-pharmacological means. This study was designed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to ascertain the beneficial effects of yoga, meditation and physical activity in fighting against such viral infections. Method: A systematic review protocol was prepared with an inclusion criterion of Randomized controlled trials in the area of physical activity, yoga and meditation in improving immunity and fighting against viral respiratory infections. Two hundred and thirteen articles were screened by using various search engines, out of which 25 articles met the inclusion criteria and were sent to four reviewers/ experts for appraisal along with the Pedro scale. Fifteen articles which scored  5/11 score on the Pedro scale were included in the present systematic review. Results: Out of fifteen RCTs included in the systematic review, ten RCTs were related to the improvement/change in immune parameters with physical activity, yoga and meditation and five RCTs were related to the fight against viral respiratory infections, especially in context to the incidence of viral respiratory infections. Most of the studies have reported statistically significant improvement in the number of immunoglobulins, natural killer cells, B & T lymphocytes, Salivary flow rate, natural cell-mediated cytotoxicity (NCMC) and a decrease in the incidence of acute respiratory infections/COVID-19 after a regular practice/training of physical activity, yoga and meditation. Novelty: Thenovelty of this systematic review is the inclusion of only RCTs focusing on the effect of physical activity, yoga and meditation in viral respiratory infections only. Conclusion: The included RCTs have shown that regular physical activity, yoga and/or meditation improve the immune parameters and help in fighting against viral respiratory infections. There is a need to have more RCTs having a large sample size and longer periods of training sessions in this area.

Keywords: Immunity AND Physical activity; Immunity AND Meditation; Physical activity AND Upper respiratory viral infections; Yoga AND Upper respiratory viral infections; Meditation AND Upper respiratory viral infections; Immunity AND Yoga


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© 2022 Gupta et al.  This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Published By Indian Society for Education and Environment (iSee)


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