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Tai Chi Qigong for Health >> Tai Chi Qigong for Cardiovascular Health

Tai Chi as an Adjunct Physical Activity for Older Adults in Cardiac Rehabilitation
Dec 27, 2010 -
Cardiac rehabilitation improves physical, cognitive and psychosocial functioning, yet services are greatly underutilized with increasing patterns of attrition over time. Tai Chi has been suggested as a possible adjunct to cardiac rehabilitation exercise training.
Three faculty members of College of Nursing, University of Arizona performed a study to describe differences in physical, cognitive and psychosocial functioning among older adults attending phase III cardiac rehabilitation, who have or have not self-selected Tai Chi exercise as an adjunct physical activity.
In their study, the researchers compared participants attending group-based Wu style Tai Chi classes plus cardiac rehabilitation with those using cardiac rehabilitation only. All the participants had a battery of physical and cognitive functioning tests administered to examine aerobic endurance, balance, strength, and flexibility, verbal retrieval/recall, attention, concentration and tracking. Subjects completed a health survey to ascertain cardiac event information, medical history, and psychosocial functioning (i.e. health-related quality of life, stress, depressive symptoms, social support, and Tai Chi self-efficacy).
A total of 51 people (75% married, 84% college-educated, 96% White/European-American) participated. Their ages ranged from 62 to 78. They had attended cardiac rehabilitation for 12 to 82 months. Twenty-three of the participants attended Tai Chi classes plus cardiac rehabilitation, while 28 of them attended cardiac rehabilitation only.
At the end of the study, participants attending Tai Chi plus cardiac rehabilitation had better balance, perceived physical health, and Tai Chi self-efficacy compared to those attending cardiac rehabilitation only.
The researchers suggested that Tai Chi can be easily implemented in any community/cardiac rehabilitation facility, and may offer adults additional options after a cardiac event.
This study is published in the Nov 2010 issue of European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.




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