Efficacy of traditional Chinese exercise for obesity: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Author: Ze Yang1, Kai Huang2, Yang Yang3, Qike Xu3, Qiaofeng Guo2, Xiang Wang2
1 The First Clinical Medical College, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, China.
2 Department of Orthopedics, Tongde Hospital of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou, China.
3 Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Neighborhood Good Doctor No. 6 Street Clinic, Hangzhou, China.
Conference/Journal: Front Endocrinol (Lausanne)
Date published: 2023 Mar 1
Other: Volume ID: 14 , Pages: 1028708 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3389/fendo.2023.1028708. , Word Count: 300

Obesity is considered one of the biggest public health problems, especially in the background of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown. It is urgent to find interventions to control and improve it. We performed this systematic review and meta-analysis to summarize the effect of traditional Chinese exercise on obesity.

We searched PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), the Chinese Scientific Journal Database (VIP), the Chinese Biomedical Literature Database (CBM), and WanFang database for updated articles published from the inception of each database to June 2022. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on traditional Chinese exercise in weight reduction were included, and related data were extracted. The random-effects model was used to adjust for the heterogeneity of the included studies, and funnel plots were used to examine publication bias.

A total of 701 participants were included in the 10 studies. Compared with the control group, the outcome of body weight [mean difference (MD) = -6.10; 95% CI = -8.79, -3.42], body mass index (MD = -2.03; 95% CI = -2.66, -1.41), body fat mass (MD = -3.12; 95% CI = -4.49, -1.75), waist circumference (MD = -3.46; 95% CI = -4.67, -2.24), hip circumference (MD = -2.94; 95% CI = -4.75, -1.30), and waist-to-hip ratio (MD = -0.04; 95% CI = -0.06, -0.03) in the intervention group had significant differences. Egger's test and funnel plots showed that the potential publication bias of the included studies was slight (p = 0.249).

Traditional Chinese exercise is an effective treatment for obesity; people under the COVID-19 lockdown could do these exercises to control weight. However, a precise and comprehensive conclusion calls for RCTs on a larger scale with more rigorous designs considering the inferior methodological quality and limited retrieved articles.

Systematic review registration:
www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO/, identifier CRD42021270015.

Keywords: Baduanjin; COVID-19 lockdown; Qigong; Tai Chi; Wuqinxi; obesity; systematic review and meta-analysis; traditional Chinese exercise.

PMID: 36936150 PMCID: PMC10014526 DOI: 10.3389/fendo.2023.1028708