Tai Chi Reduces Waist Size Among Older Adults

Author: Anita Slomski
Conference/Journal: JAMA
Date published: 2021 Jul 27
Other: Volume ID: 326 , Issue ID: 4 , Pages: 299 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1001/jama.2021.10833. , Word Count: 216

Tai chi was as effective as conventional exercise for reducing central obesity in middle-aged and older adults, according to a trial published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The authors recommended incorporating the gentle mind-body exercise into physical activity guidelines for older people.

The trial’s 543 participants aged 50 years or older were located at a single research site in Hong Kong. They were randomly assigned to a control group with no exercise, to aerobic exercise and strength training, or to a tai chi group for 12 weeks. An instructor led the conventional exercise and tai chi groups, which met 3 times a week for 1 hour.

At baseline, 75% of participants were overweight or obese. Because Asian individuals typically have a higher body fat percentage than White people at the same body mass index (BMI), the researchers used waist circumference as a more accurate measure of cardiometabolic risk. At weeks 12 and 38, waist circumference decreased similarly in the conventional exercise and tai chi groups but increased in the control group. Both exercise groups also had modest decreases in body weight and BMI.

PMID: 34313691 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2021.10833

this article in JAMA is based on this article: Effects of Tai Chi or Conventional Exercise on Central Obesity in Middle-Aged and Older Adults
A Three-Group Randomized Controlled Trial