Date of Completion
balance, blood pressure, complimentary medicine, older adults
Linda S. Pescatello
Beth A. Taylor
Crystal L. Park
Susan S. Glenney
Richard H. Fortinsky
Field of Study
Doctor of Philosophy
Tai Chi has demonstrated salutary health benefits, but whether tai chi interventions tailored for specific health outcomes will result in different health benefits remains unknown. Therefore, we compared the health benefits of two different Tai Chi interventions targeted for improvements in either blood pressure (BP) (PRESSURE) or balance (BALANCE). We tailored PRESSURE to emphasize breathing techniques and mental relaxation and BALANCE to emphasize movement principles that challenged balance. Subjects were randomized to PRESSURE (n=12), BALANCE (n=13), or CONTROL (n=10). Tai Chi was practiced 3 sessions/wk, 60 min/session for 12 wk. CONTROL performed daily activities. We tested the change in cardiometabolic health, balance, and functional fitness outcomes among groups with analyses of covariance with the health outcome baseline value, age, and body mass index as covariates adjusted for multiple comparisons. Subjects were physically active, Tai Chi naive (97.1%), white and older (78.9±5.7yr) with systolic BP (SBP) of 126.5±14.4 mmHg and diastolic BP of 69.3±8.4mmHg, and mostly female (82.9%). PRESSURE improved Chair Sit-to-Stand Test (CSTS) (1.0±1.8 vs. -0.6±0.8times/30sec, P=.03) versus CONTROL, and gait speed (12.8±43.3 vs. -24.1±22.4cm/sec, P=.02) versus BALANCE. Meanwhile, BALANCE improved Single Leg Stance Test (5.4±18.0 vs. -8.2±10.3sec, p=.049) and CSTS (1.0±1.7 vs. -0.6±0.8times/30sec, p=.03), and tended to lower SBP (-4.2±16.0 vs. 3.5±8.3mmHg, p=.052) versus CONTROL. Within just 3 months, physically active, Tai Chi naive older adults improved on a variety of health outcomes, independent of the type of Tai Chi practice. Future studies should confirm our findings and determine the sustainability of the accrued health benefits with a longer period of Tai Chi practice among a larger, more ethnically and gender diverse sample.
Wu, Yin, "A Comparison of Two Tai Chi Interventions Tailored for Different Health Outcomes" (2018). Doctoral Dissertations. 2019.
Available for download on Wednesday, November 27, 2019