The effects of tai chi in centrally obese adults with depression symptoms

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:879712. doi: 10.1155/2015/879712. Epub 2015 Jan 21.

Abstract

This study examined the effects of Tai Chi, a low-impact mind-body movement therapy, on severity of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms in centrally obese people with elevated depression symptoms. In total, 213 participants were randomized to a 24-week Tai Chi intervention program or a wait-list control group. Assessments were conducted at baseline and 12 and 24 weeks. Outcomes were severity of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms, leg strength, central obesity, and other measures of metabolic symptom. There were statistically significant between-group differences in favor of the Tai Chi group in depression (mean difference = -5.6 units, P < 0.001), anxiety (-2.3 units, P < 0.01), and stress (-3.6 units, P < 0.001) symptom scores and leg strength (1.1 units, P < 0.001) at 12 weeks. These changes were further improved or maintained in the Tai Chi group relative to the control group during the second 12 weeks of follow-up. Tai Chi appears to be beneficial for reducing severity of depression, anxiety, and stress and leg strength in centrally obese people with depression symptoms. More studies with longer follow-up are needed to confirm the findings. This trial is registered with ACTRN12613000010796.