Date of Conferral





Public Health


Simone Salandy


Women’s mortality rate in the United States has increased in almost every age group in the past several years. However, more women in the United States are choosing yoga as a complementary health approach to improve general well-being. Thus, research on yoga and other factors that affect women’s health in the United States may inform public health initiatives to address the health disparities in women’s mortality rates. Grounded in the health belief model, the purpose of this study was to explore whether the factors of practicing the components of yoga, doctor’s recommendation for increased physical activity, body mass index (BMI) categories, hypertension, high cholesterol, age, and occupation predicted the self-rated health of women. This cross-sectional, secondary analysis of the 2017 National Health Interview Survey included 14,464 female respondents, and ordinal logistic regression analysis was used to examine the data. The results showed that self-reported participation in yoga, breathing as a part of yoga, and meditation as a part of yoga was associated with higher self-rated health. Additionally, participants with healthy weight BMI, teachers, and participants who did not receive recommendations for increased physical activity and did not have hypertension or high cholesterol were more likely to report better self-rated health. Based on the results of this study, public health researchers may continue to explore the effects of yoga on women and how a yoga-based population health intervention could help women in the United States live longer and healthier lives.