4 June 2010
People with chronic (long-term) conditions may be able to improve their psychological well-being by taking up the ancient art of Tai Chi.
A meta-analysis* of 40 studies, including 3817 participants, found Tai Chi to be associated with reduced stress, anxiety, depression and mood disturbance. It also increased self-esteem (BMC Comp & Alt Medicine, online 21 May).
Stress and anxiety were significantly reduced by 34 per cent in participants, which also included healthy people living in community dwellings. Depression was reduced by 44 per cent.
The US researchers reported the positive benefits of doing the low-impact exercise were observed in those doing one hour to one year of regular Tai Chi.
The study added weight to the evidence that physical activity was associated with positive mental health, the authors said.
*A meta-analysis is a statistical technique that summarises the results of other studies.
Last Reviewed: 04 June 2010