Curriculum, Practice, and Diet Predict Health Among Experienced Taiji and Qigong Practitioners

J Altern Complement Med. 2016 Feb;22(2):154-9. doi: 10.1089/acm.2015.0071. Epub 2015 Dec 18.


Objective: To explore the potential influence of curriculum, frequency of practice, and dietary quality on the health of experienced Taiji and qigong practitioners.

Design: Theoretical and cross-sectional study.

Methods: Responses from a volunteer sample of Taiji practitioners from across the United States were collected using an online survey. The instrument was designed to collect data on health-related quality of life, diet, and Taiji practice regimens. All experienced (≥4 years) practitioners (n = 94; mean age, 55.82 years [range, 24-83 years]) were included in the analysis. Relationships among self-reported health, diet, experience, practice frequency, and curricular complexity were analyzed.

Results: Practitioners' health status did not show the typical negative association with age and was positively associated with complex curricula, practice, and high-quality diets. Significant interaction effects were seen between (1) curricular complexity and additional practice (p < 0.05) and (2) curricular complexity and diet (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Intervention designers, Taiji teachers, and practitioners should consider the potential influence of curricula, out-of-class practice, and healthy diets for optimizing health-related gains and minimizing age-related losses in interventions and community-based programs.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Curriculum*
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Qigong*
  • Quality of Life
  • Tai Ji*
  • United States
  • Young Adult