Beneficial effects of regular Tai Chi exercise on musculoskeletal system

J Bone Miner Metab. 2005;23(2):186-90. doi: 10.1007/s00774-004-0559-2.


This study was performed to evaluate the potential benefits of regular Tai Chi Chun (TCC) exercise on bone mineral density (BMD) and neuromuscular function in postmenopausal women. In this cross-sectional study, 99 healthy postmenopausal women, with a mean age of 55.9+/-3.1 years and within 10 years after the menopause, were recruited; including 48 subjects who had been regularly practicing TCC exercise for more than 3 h/week and 51 age- and sex-matched sedentary controls (CON). BMD was measured in the lumbar spine and proximal femur of the non-dominant leg (femoral neck, greater trochanter, and Ward's triangle), using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Neuromuscular function was evaluated, including magnitude of trunk bend-and-reach, quadriceps muscle strength, and single-stance time on the nondominant leg. The TCC group showed overall higher BMD at all measurement sites, with a significant difference found at the spine (7.1%), greater trochanter (7.2%), and Ward's triangle (7.1%) of the proximal femur (all; P<0.05). Functional tests revealed an average 43.3% significantly greater quadriceps strength (P<0.01), and 67.8% significantly longer single-stance time in the TCC group as compared with the CON group (P<0.05), as well as a greater magnitude of trunk bend-and-reach in the TCC group (P=0.08). Bivariate linear correlation analysis showed that quadriceps muscle strength was significantly correlated with the single-stance time (r=0.41; P<0.01). This study revealed that regular TCC exercise may have an association with higher BMD and better neuromuscular function in early postmenopausal women.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bone Density*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Musculoskeletal Physiological Phenomena*
  • Postmenopause / physiology
  • Postural Balance / physiology
  • Tai Ji*