Comparing the Effects of Bafa Wubu Tai Chi and Traditional He-Style Tai Chi Exercises on Physical Health Risk Factors in Overweight Male College Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Author: Yantao Niu1,2, Rojapon Buranarugsa1,3, Piyathida Kuhirunyaratn4
1 Exercise and Sport Sciences Program, Graduate School, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand.
2 Faculty of Physical Education, Jiaozuo Normal College, Jiaozuo 454000, China.
3 Physical Education Program, Faculty of Education, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand.
4 Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand.
Conference/Journal: Int J Environ Res Public Health
Date published: 2023 Jul 8
Other: Volume ID: 20 , Issue ID: 14 , Pages: 6323 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3390/ijerph20146323. , Word Count: 278

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of Bafa Wubu Tai Chi (BW-TC) and traditional He-style Tai Chi (TH-TC) exercises on physical health risk factors in overweight male college students and to compare the effectiveness of the two Tai Chi exercise forms in improving these risk factors.

Eighty-one overweight male university students between the ages of 18 and 23 were randomly assigned in a 1:1:1 ratio to the BW-TC group, TH-TC group, and control group (CG). The Tai Chi exercise training consisted of 12 weeks, three times a week, for 60 min per session. The CG attended three health lectures and maintained their normal study routine. The outcomes were body composition and blood lipids. Data were collected at baseline and post-intervention and analyzed using one-way ANOVA and mixed-design ANOVA.

At baseline, there were no significant differences in demographic characteristics and assessed parameters (p > 0.05) among the groups. The BW TC and TH TC groups both significantly decreased their body weight (2.69 kg, 2.04 kg, respectively), body mass index (0.90 kg/m2, 0.67 kg/m2, respectively), body fat percentage (1.46%, 1.10%, respectively), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (8.82 mg/dL, 9.27 mg/dL, respectively), total cholesterol (8.57 mg/dL, 9.34 mg/dL, respectively) and triglycerides (10.14 mg/dL, 10.63 mg/dL, respectively); and increased their muscle mass (-0.56 kg, -1.13 kg, respectively) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (-5.77 mg/dL, -6.37 mg/dL, respectively). Multiple comparisons showed that both Tai Chi groups were significantly better than the CG in improving the evaluated parameters.

Two types of Tai Chi interventions were effective in improving body composition and blood lipids in overweight university students, without significant differences between the two.

Keywords: Tai Chi; blood lipids; body composition; overweight; physical health.

PMID: 37510556 PMCID: PMC10379143 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph20146323