Effects of Tai Chi exercise on patients with type 2 diabetes

Med Sport Sci. 2008:52:230-238. doi: 10.1159/000134303.


This study investigated the effects of Tai Chi exercise on the levels of blood glucose, insulin and insulin receptors of patients with type 2 diabetes. Twelve subjects aged 58-75 years old (66.5 +/- 8.5 years) with type 2 diabetes participated in the study. They were trained with the protocol of Tai Chi exercise for 8 weeks. Blood glucose, serum insulin, and insulin receptor activity were measured before and after the 8-week intervention and immediately after a single bout exercise of Tai Chi after the protocol. The results showed that by 8 weeks of Tai Chi exercise, the blood glucose decreased (p < 0.05), while high- and low-affinity insulin receptor numbers (r1, r2) and low-affinity insulin receptor binding capacity (R2) increased. Serum insulin increased (p < 0.05) but was still within the normal range. After the single bout Tai Chi exercise, blood glucose, high- and low-affinity insulin receptor numbers (r1, r2), and their binding capacity (R1, R2) increased (p < 0.05), while serum insulin did not change. The 8-week Tai Chi intervention therefore showed benefits on health status of patients with type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptor, Insulin / blood
  • Tai Ji*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Receptor, Insulin