Tai Chi Associated with Reduced Mortality
July 27, 2013 -
Moderate-intensity exercise has
attracted considerable attention because of its safety and many health benefits.
Tai Chi, a form of mind-body exercise that originated in ancient China, has been
gaining popularity. Practicing Tai Chi may improve overall health and
well-being; however, no study has evaluated its relationship with mortality.
A study recently published by American journal of
epidemiology assessed the associations of regular exercise and specifically
participation in Tai Chi, walking, and jogging with total and cause-specific
mortality among 61,477 Chinese men in the Shanghai Men's Health Study
(2002-2009). Information on exercise habits was obtained at baseline using a
validated physical activity questionnaire. Deaths were ascertained through
biennial home visits and linkage with a vital statistics registry.
During a mean follow-up of 5.48 years, 2,421 deaths were
identified. After adjustment for potential confounders, men who exercised
regularly had a hazard ratio for total mortality of 0.80 compared with men who
did not exercise. The corresponding hazard ratios were 0.80 for practicing Tai
Chi, 0.77 for walking, and 0.73 for jogging. Similar inverse associations were
also found for cancer and cardiovascular mortality.
The study provides the first evidence that, like walking and
jogging, practicing Tai Chi is associated with reduced mortality.