Objectives: To evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and effects of a Tai Chi and Qigong exercise programme in adults with elevated blood glucose.
Design, setting, and participants: A single group pre-post feasibility trial with 11 participants (3 male and 8 female; aged 42-65 years) with elevated blood glucose.
Intervention: Participants attended Tai Chi and Qigong exercise training for 1 to 1.5 h, 3 times per week for 12 weeks, and were encouraged to practise the exercises at home.
Main outcome measures: Indicators of metabolic syndrome (body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol); glucose control (HbA1c, fasting insulin and insulin resistance (HOMA)); health-related quality of life; stress and depressive symptoms.
Results: There was good adherence and high acceptability. There were significant improvements in four of the seven indicators of metabolic syndrome including BMI (mean difference -1.05, p<0.001), waist circumference (-2.80 cm, p<0.05), and systolic (-11.64 mm Hg, p<0.01) and diastolic blood pressure (-9.73 mm Hg, p<0.001), as well as in HbA1c (-0.32%, p<0.01), insulin resistance (-0.53, p<0.05), stress (-2.27, p<0.05), depressive symptoms (-3.60, p<0.05), and the SF-36 mental health summary score (5.13, p<0.05) and subscales for general health (19.00, p<0.01), mental health (10.55, p<0.01) and vitality (23.18, p<0.05).
Conclusions: The programme was feasible and acceptable and participants showed improvements in metabolic and psychological variables. A larger controlled trial is now needed to confirm these promising preliminary results.