Cardiorespiratory and metabolic responses during Tai Chi Chuan exercise

Can J Appl Sport Sci. 1984 Mar;9(1):7-10.


Tai Chi Chuan is a form of traditional Chinese exercise which has been widely practised in China for preventive and therapeutic purposes. The present study was designed to determine the physiological demands of this exercise modality. Eleven healthy males, aged 28.4 years, were studied for oxygen cost and related metabolic variables, heart rate and blood pressure during the performance of the Long-Form Tai Chi Chuan of Yang's style. Data was collected by an automated respiratory gas analyzer (Jeger Ergooxyscreen) and ECG telemetry during a 17-25 minute performance session (X = 22 minutes). The average energy cost for the Long-Form Tai Chi Chuan was 4.1 Mets, corresponding to a mean VO2 value of 1.03 l X min-1 or 14.5 ml X kg-1 X min-1. The mean peak heart rate during the exercises was 134 beats per minute. These values suggest that the Long-Form Tai Chi Chuan may be classed as moderate exercise, and its intensity does not exceed 50% of the individual's maximum oxygen intake.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure
  • China
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Heart / physiology*
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Respiratory Function Tests