Effects of tai chi training in dynapenic and nondynapenic postmenopausal women.

Author: Barbat-Artigas S, Filion ME, Dupontgand S, Karelis AD, Aubertin-Leheudre M.
From the 1Groupe de Recherche en Activité Physique Adaptée, Department of Kinanthropology, University of Quebec at Montreal, Montreal, Quebec; 2Research Centre of the Montreal Geriatric University Institute, Montreal, Quebec; and 3YMCA, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Conference/Journal: Menopause
Date published: 2011 May 6
Other: Word Count: 233

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of a 12-week tai chi program in type I dynapenic and nondynapenic postmenopausal women.

Sixty-two postmenopausal women were recruited. Body composition, handgrip strength, functional capacities, cardiorespiratory functions (forced expiratory volume in 1 s and oxygen consumption per unit time peak), and quality of life (36-item Short-Form Health Survey) were measured before and after the intervention.

Type I dynapenic postmenopausal women showed a significant decrease in body weight (P = 0.004), fat mass percentage (P = 0.02), and skeletal muscle mass (SM; in kilograms; P = 0.02), whereas handgrip strength (in kilograms per SMkg; P = 0.04), functional capacity test scores (P ≤ 0.050), and general health perception (P = 0.01) significantly increased. In nondynapenic postmenopausal women, we observed a significantly decreased waist circumference (P = 0.04) and a significantly increased chair-stand test (P < 0.001) and one-leg stance test (P = 0.04) scores. In addition, significantly lower systolic (P ≤ 0.001) and diastolic (P ≤ 0.005) blood pressures were observed in both groups after the intervention. Finally, type I dynapenic women showed a more pronounced general health perception increase compared with nondynapenic individuals (P = 0.03).

Tai chi training improved body composition, muscle strength, functional capacities, and general health perception in postmenopausal women, and this last improvement was more pronounced in type I dynapenic individuals. Therefore, tai chi may be considered as an alternative physical training method in preventing the occurrence of disabilities and frailty in postmenopausal women with type I dynapenia.

PMID: 21555960