The Effects of Tai Chi on Markers of Atherosclerosis, Lower-limb Physical Function, and Cognitive Ability in Adults Aged Over 60: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Author: Zhou S1, Zhang Y2, Kong Z3, Loprinzi PD4, Hu Y5, Ye J6, Liu S7, Yu JJ8, Zou L9
1Department of Chinese Martial Arts, College of Sport Science, Hunan University of Science and Technology, Yongzhou 425100, China.
2Health and Exercise Science Laboratory, Institute of Sports Science, Seoul National University, Seuoul 08826, Korea.
3Faculty of Education, University of Macau, Macao, China.
4Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management School of Applied Sciences, The University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS 36877, USA.
5Sports Science Research Center, Beijing Sport University, Beijing 100084, China.
6Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hunghom, Hong Kong, China.
7Department of Physical Education, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China.
8Sports and Exercise Psychology Laboratory, Department of Sports, Science and Physical Education, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong, China.
9Lifestyle (Mind-Body Movement) Research Center, College of Sports Science, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China.
Conference/Journal: Int J Environ Res Public Health.
Date published: 2019 Mar 1
Other: Volume ID: 16 , Issue ID: 5 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3390/ijerph16050753. , Word Count: 204

Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of Tai Chi (TC) on arterial stiffness, physical function of lower-limb, and cognitive ability in adults aged over 60. Methods: This study was a prospective and randomized 12-week intervention trial with three repeated measurements (baseline, 6, and 12 weeks). Sixty healthy adults who met the inclusion criteria were randomly allocated into three training conditions (TC-24, TC-42, and TC-56) matched by gender, with 20 participants (10 males, 10 females) in each of the three groups. We measured the following health outcomes, including markers of atherosclerosis, physical function (leg power, and static and dynamic balance) of lower-limb, and cognitive ability. Results: When all three TC groups (p < 0.05) have showed significant improvements on these outcomes but overall cognitive ability at 6 or 12 weeks training period, TC-56 appears to have superior effects on arterial stiffness and static/dynamic balance in the present study. Conclusions: Study results of the present study add to growing body of evidence regarding therapeutic TC for health promotion and disease prevention in aging population. Future studies should further determine whether TC-42 and TC-56 are beneficial for other non-Chinese populations, with rigorous research design and follow-up assessment.

KEYWORDS: Tai Chi; aging; arterial stiffness; balance; cognition; mind-body exercise

PMID: 30832288 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16050753