Effects of Tai Chi on the physical and psychological well-being of Chinese older women


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The objective of this study was to determine the effects of Tai Chi training on perceived change in physical and mental health, life satisfaction, functional capacity, balance, muscle strength and flexibility in 38 Hong Kong Chinese older women (mean ± SD: age, 72.9 ± 5.5 yrs; weight, 57.2 ± 8.8 kg; height, 1.51 ± 0.06 m; body mass index, 24.9 ± 3.4 kg m-2). A prospective controlled clinical trial with a 3-month intervention was used in which the participants (15 in the experimental group, 23 in the control group), were assessed before and after intervention. Using independent t tests, we found that at baseline measurement, participants in the experimental group began with slightly poorer balance and less flexibility than those in the control group. After controlling for these baseline characteristics by analysis of covariance, the Tai Chi intervention group experienced significantly greater percentage improvements over baseline in both psychological and physical well-being than the control group; when compared to the control group, perceived well-being for the intervention group was 13.5% higher than baseline, functional capacity was 4.5% higher, knee extension strength was 10.1 % higher, and flexibility was 10.6% higher. We conclude that a moderate Tai Chi intervention program can enhance both psychological and physical health among Hong Kong Chinese older women. Copyright © 2005 Elsevier Singapore Pte Ltd - Hong Kong Branch.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-94
JournalJournal of Exercise Science and Fitness
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005



Macfarlane, D. J., Chou, K. L., & Cheng, W. K. (2005). Effects of Tai Chi on the physical and psychological well-being of Chinese older women. Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness, 3(2), 87-94.


  • Elderly
  • Physical health
  • Psychological health
  • Tai Chi