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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Dec 7;15(12). pii: E2771. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15122771.

The Effects of Tai Chi on Heart Rate Variability in Older Chinese Individuals with Depression.

Author information

1
Department of Martial Arts, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai 200438, China. liujing@sus.edu.cn.
2
Department of Psychology, School of Kinesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. liujing@sus.edu.cn.
3
Department of Martial Arts, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai 200438, China. xiehuihui1987@163.com.
4
Department of Sports, Nanjing University of Science and Technology ZiJin College, Nanjing 210023, China. xiehuihui1987@163.com.
5
School of Physical Education, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China. liuming@scut.edu.cn.
6
School of Acupuncture and Tuina, University of Chinese Medicine, Anhui 230038, China. wang673099692@hotmail.com.
7
Department of Sports Science and Physical Education, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, China. liyezou123@cuhk.edu.hk.
8
Depression Clinical and Research Program, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA. ayeung@mgh.harvard.edu.
9
Department of Sports Science and Physical Education, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, China. hui2162@cuhk.edu.hk.
10
Department of Martial Arts, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai 200438, China. cyan810@163.com.

Abstract

Background Very little research has been done to simultaneously investigate the effects of Tai Chi (TC) on depression and heart rate variability (HRV). This study, therefore, attempted to explore the effects of TC on depression and on HRV parameters. Methods Sixty older individuals with depression score of 10 or above (the Geriatric Depression Scale, GDS) were randomly assigned into two groups: TC (n = 30) and control group (n = 30). Participants in the experimental group participated in a 24-week TC training program (three 60-min sessions per week), whereas individuals in the control group maintained their unaltered lifestyle. Depression and HRV were measured using the GDS and digital electrocardiogram at baseline and after the 24-week intervention. Results The TC had produced significant positive chances in depression and some HRV parameters (mean heart rate, RMSSD, HF, LFnorm, and HFnorm) (p < 0.05), whereas these positive results were not observed in the control group. Conclusions The results of this study indicated that TC may alleviate depression of the elderly through modulating autonomous nervous system or HRV parameters. This study adds to a growing body of research showing that TC may be effective in treating depression of the elderly. Tai Chi as a mild to moderate mind-body exercise is suitable for older individuals who suffer from depression.

KEYWORDS:

Tai Chi; depression; heart rate variability; mind-body

PMID:
30544491
PMCID:
PMC6313592
DOI:
10.3390/ijerph15122771
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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