Study suggests tai chi may reflect healthy benefits of conventional exercise




New study shows tai chi reflects the beneficial effects of conventional exercise in reducing waist circumference in middle-aged and older adults with central obesity. The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Hong Kong, Chinese University of Hong Kong; Chinese Academy of Sciences; and UCLA.


Central obesity is a major manifestation of metabolic syndrome, broadly defined as a group of cardiometabolic risk factors including central obesity, dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, low high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL- C) and high blood pressure, all of which increase the risk. for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


543 participants were randomly assigned in a 1: 1: 1 ratio to a control group with no exercise intervention (n = 181), conventional exercise including aerobic and strength training (EX group) (n = 181) , and one group (TC group) (n = 181). The interventions lasted 12 weeks.

The main outcome measure was waist circumference. The secondary outcomes were body weight; body mass index; High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (HDL-C), Triglycerides, and Fasting Plasma Glucose Levels.


The results suggest that tai chi is an effective approach for the management of central obesity. This study has great translational significance because our results support the notion of incorporating tai chi into global physical activity guidelines for middle-aged and older adults with central obesity.



Parco M. Siu, PhD; Angus P. Yu, MPhil; Edwin C. Chin, BScEd; Doris S. Yu, PhD; Daniel Y. Fong, PhD (University of Hong Kong); Stanley S. Hui, EdD; Jean Woo, MD (Chinese University of Hong Kong); Gao X. Wei, PhD (Chinese Academy of Sciences); and Michael R. Irwin, MD (University of California, Los Angeles).


Annals of Internal Medicine
Ann Med Intern. doi: 10.7326 / M20-7014


The Health and Medical Research Fund (12131841) of the Food and Health Bureau, Hong Kong SAR.

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