The safety of a traditional Chinese exercise, Tai-Chi Chuan, on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients was evaluated. RA patients, who received 1 h of Tai-Chi Chuan instruction once (n = 20) and twice (n = 15) a week for 10 consecutive wk in two separate studies, showed no deterioration in their clinical disease activities compared with the corresponding controls (n = 11 and 9, respectively). Testing parameters included joint tenderness, joint swelling, time to walk 50 feet, handgrip strength and a written functional assessment. No significant exacerbation of joint symptoms using this weight-bearing form of exercise was observed. Tai-Chi Chuan exercise appears to be safe for RA patients and may serve as an alternative for their exercise therapy and part of their rehabilitation program. Weight-bearing exercises have the potential advantages of stimulating bone growth and strengthening connective tissue, but this effect needs to be documented in long-term studies.