Tai Chi Exercise and the Improvement of Mental and Physical Health among College Students

Author: Wang, Y.
Affiliation: Division of Physical Therapy, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Ga., USA.
Conference/Journal: Med Sport Sci.
Date published: 2008
Other: Volume ID: 52 , Pages: 135-45 , Word Count: 203

Background/Aims: Physical exercise has positive effects on the body as well as on the mind. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of Tai Chi exercise on college students' perceptions of their physical and mental health. A 3-month Tai Chi intervention (1 h, twice/week) was administrated to 30 college students. The SF-36v2 health survey questionnaire was employed to evaluate the mental health dimension (MHD) and physical health dimension (PHD) before and after the intervention by means of a paired t test (p < 0.05). PHD including physical functioning, role physical, bodily pain, general health, and MHD including social functioning, role mental/emotion function, vitality, and perceptions of mental health were assessed. Results: Physical measures of bodily pain and general health, and mental measures of role mental/emotion function, vitality, and mental health were significantly improved after Tai Chi intervention. When the overall PHD or MHD scores were evaluated, the MHD increased significantly. Conclusions: Tai Chi exercise had positive effects on the self-assessed physical and mental health of college students. Scores on the MHD appeared to be particularly sensitive to change. Colleges/universities might consider offering Tai Chi as a component of their ongoing physical activity programs available to students.
PMID: 18487893