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Am J Chin Med. 2004;32(3):453-9.

Effects of Tai Chi exercise on physical and mental health of college students.

Author information

  • 1Department of Physical Therapy, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA. ywang2@gsu.edu

Abstract

The purpose of this pilot study is to examine the effects of Tai Chi Quan, a body-mind harmony exercise, on college students' perceptions of their physical and mental health. A three-month intervention of Tai Chi exercise was administered to college students, and multidimensional physical (PHD) and mental (MHD) health scores were assessed using the SF-36v2 health survey questionnaire before and after the intervention. Thirty college students participated in a 1-hour-long Tai Chi exercise intervention twice a week for 3 months. Each practice session included 10 minutes of breathing and stretching exercises followed by 50 minutes of Tai Chi Quan 24-form practice. PHD including physical function (PF), role physical (RP), bodily pain (BP), general health (GH), and MHD including social function (SF), role mental/emotion function (RE), vitality (VT), perceptions of mental health (MH) were assessed. The normalized scores of each variable and the combined PHD or MHD scores before and after the Tai Chi intervention were examined by paired t-test (p < 0.05). Physical measures of BP and GH, and mental measures of RE, VT and MH were significantly improved after Tai Chi exercise intervention. When the overall PHD or MHD scores were evaluated, the MHD had increased significantly. In conclusion, Tai Chi exercise had positive effects on the self-assessed physical and mental health of college students. Scores on the mental health dimension appeared to be particularly sensitive to change. Colleges/universities might consider offering Tai Chi as a component of their ongoing physical activity programs available to students.

PMID:
15344428
DOI:
10.1142/S0192415X04002107
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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