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Appl Nurs Res. 2012 Feb;25(1):54-9. doi: 10.1016/j.apnr.2010.01.002. Epub 2010 Apr 13.

Tai Chi for older nurses: a workplace wellness pilot study.

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  • 1Office of Nursing Workforce, University of Vermont, Burlington, 05405-0068, USA.



The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the feasibility of a Tai Chi workplace wellness program as a cost effective way of improving physical and mental health, reducing work related stress, and improving work productivity among older nurses in a hospital setting Design A randomized control trial of two groups (control and Tai Chi group).


A randomized control trial of two groups (control and Tai Chi group).


Northeastern academic medical center.


A convenience sample of eleven female nurses (mean age 54.4 years).


The Tai Chi group (n = 6) was asked to attend Tai Chi classes once a week offered at their worksite and to practice on their own for 10 minutes each day at least 4 days per week for 15 weeks. Controls (n = 5) received no intervention.


SF-36 Health Survey, Nursing Stress Scale (NSS), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), Sit-and-Reach test, Functional Reach test, the Work Limitations Questionnaire, workplace injury and unscheduled time off.


The two study groups were compared descriptively and changes across time in the intervention versus control were compared.


The Tai Chi group took no unscheduled time-off hours, whereas, the control group was absent 49 hours during the study period. There was also a 3% increase in work productivity and significant improvement in functional reach (p=0.03) compared to the control group. Other outcomes were not statistically significant.


This pilot study demonstrates the feasibility of Tai Chi with older female workers as a cost effective wellness option in the workplace; thus encouraging replication with a larger sample. Methodological implications were also addressed.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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