Pilot study of tai chi and qigong on body composition, sleep, and emotional eating in midlife/older women

Author: Dara James1, Linda K Larkey1, Bronwynne Evans1, Ann Sebren2, Kimberley Goldsmith3, Lisa Smith2
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona, USA. <sup>2</sup> College of Health Solutions, Arizona State University, Arizona, USA. <sup>3</sup> Department of Biostatistics &amp; Informatics Inst. Of Psychiatry, King&#39;s College London, London, England.
Conference/Journal: J Women Aging
Date published: 2021 Dec 28
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1080/08952841.2021.2018924. , Word Count: 219

Weight gain and related adverse changes in body composition are prevalent among midlife and older women and contribute to chronic disease (e.g., type 2 diabetes, hypertension, depression). Tai Chi (TC) and Qigong (QG), forms of Meditative Movement, demonstrate improved physical/psychological symptoms and body composition. Using a standardized TC/QG protocol, we explored pre/post intervention differences in percent body fat and factors related to body composition in midlife/older women. In the context of a single-group pilot study, females ages 45-75 (N = 51) enrolled in an 8-week TC/QG intervention. Primary outcome measures of body composition, sleep quality, emotional eating and select secondary outcome psycho-emotional factors (perceived stress, mood state, mindfulness, self-compassion, body awareness) were collected. Change in percent body fat did not reach statistical significance (p = .30, M = 0.35, 95% CI [- 0.32, 1.0]). Sleep quality improved significantly, p = .04, M = - 0.88, 95% CI [-1.71, - 0.04]. Emotional eating changed in the expected direction, but not significantly, p = .08, M = -0.16, 95% CI [-0.34, 0.02]. Significant differences were found in body awareness, p = .01, M = 0.36, 95% CI [0.08, 0.63] and perceived stress, p = .05, M = -2.36, 95% CI [-4.76, 0.04]. Preliminary results are promising as results showed improvements in factors related to healthy body composition. Refined research is needed to understand if/how TC/QG may improve body composition among midlife and older women.

Keywords: (5 max): Tai Chi/Qigong; body composition; eating; sleep; women.

PMID: 34962851 DOI: 10.1080/08952841.2021.2018924