The effects of Tai Chi training on physical fitness, perceived health, and blood pressure in elderly Vietnamese
Manh Hung Nguyen, Andreas Kruse
Institute of Gerontology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
Objective: Evaluating the effects of Tai Chi exercise on physical fitness, blood pressure, and perceived health in community-dwelling elderly.
Design: A randomized controlled trial.
Setting: Community-dwelling elderly in Vinh city, Vietnam.
Participants: Ninety-six community-dwelling participants aged 60 to 79 years (68.9 ± 5.1 years) were recruited.
Intervention: Subjects were divided randomly into two groups: Tai Chi and Control groups. Participants in the Tai Chi group (aged 69.02 ± 5.16 years) attended a 60-minute Tai Chi practice session twice a week for 6 months. The session consisted of a 15-minute warm-up and a 15-minute cool-down period. The Control group (aged 68.72 ± 4.94 years) maintained routine daily activities.
Outcome measures: The Senior Fitness Test and Short-Form 36® (SF-36®) are primary outcome measures.
Results: After 24 weeks of the Tai Chi training program, the intervention group showed significant decrease in systole of 12 mmHg and heart rate 6.46 bpm. Body mass index and waist–hip ratio were also reduced by 1.23 and 0.04, respectively. The Senior Fitness Test and SF-36 showed significant improvement.
Conclusion: In this randomized controlled trial study, Tai Chi is beneficial to improve systole blood pressure, heart rate, body mass index, waist–hip ratio, perceived health, and physical fitness. Assessment of the effects of Tai Chi may be focused more on chronic disease with a long-term training program in the future.
Keywords: physical fitness, health, Tai Chi
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