The Effects of Twelve Weeks of Tai Chi Practice on Anxiety in Stressed But Healthy People Compared to Exercise and Wait-List Groups–A Randomized Controlled Trial

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Journal Article
Journal of Clinical Psychology, 2018, 74 (1), pp. 83 - 92
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© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Objective: This randomized controlled trial was undertaken to determine whether 12 weeks of Tai Chi (TC) practice can reduce anxiety in healthy but stressed people. Method: Fifty participants were randomized into TC (n=17), exercise (n=17), and wait-list (WL) groups (n=16). Outcome measures used were State Trait Anxiety Inventory, Perceived Stress Scale 14 (PSS14), blood pressure and heart rate variability, visual analogue scale (VAS), and Short Form 36. Results: Significant improvements were observed from baseline for both TC and exercise groups for both state (p <0.01) and trait (p <0.01) anxiety, PSS14 (p <0.01), VAS (p <0.01), mental health domain (p <0.01), and vitality domain (p <0.01). Superior outcomes were also observed for TC when compared with WL for state and trait anxiety (p <0.01) and mental health domain (p <0.05). Conclusion: TC reduces stress levels in healthy individuals and provides a safer, cost effective, and less physically vigorous alternative to exercise.
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