Tai Chi shown to improve COPD exercise capacity

August 8, 2012, European Lung Foundation

Tai Chi can be used as an effective form of exercise therapy for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to new findings.

The research, which was published online today (XX August 2012) ahead of print in the , suggests that this form of exercise can improve exercise capacity and quality of life in people with COPD and may be as beneficial as .

It is well known that moderate forms of exercise can help COPD patients to improve their exercise tolerance, symptoms of and their overall quality of life. This new study aimed to investigate whether Sun-style Tai chi could be used as an effective form of .

This form of Tai Chi (Sun-style) has been shown to help people with chronic conditions such as arthritis and involves less difficult movements enabling people of all ages to perform this martial art.

Researchers from the Concord Repatriation General Hospital and the University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, worked with 42 people with COPD. Half the group attended Tai Chi lessons twice a week, as well as performing Tai Chi at home, whereas the other half followed their usual medical management which did not include exercise.

Researchers tested the of all participants via a walking test and also asked all participants to complete the Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire, which gives an indication of how the disease affects their quality of life. The exercise intensity of Tai Chi was measured in those participants who completed the Tai Chi training to assess whether it met the training requirements suggested for COPD patients.

Compared to the group completing the usual , participants completing the Tai Chi could walk significantly longer in the walking test. They also had an increased score on the questionnaire, indicating a better quality of life.

The results also showed that the intensity of the Tai Chi was moderate, which met the recommendations for exercise training for people with COPD.

Lead author, Regina Wai Man Leung from the Concord Repatriation General Hospital, said: "With increasing numbers of people being diagnosed with COPD, it is important to provide different options for exercise that can be tailored to suit each individual. The results from this small sample provide compelling evidence that Tai Chi is an effective training programme for patients with COPD, and could be considered as an alternative to the usual exercise training programmes that are available in pulmonary rehabilitation."

Explore further: Tai Chi program helps Parkinson's disease patients

More information: Short-form Sun-style Tai Chi as an exercise training modality in people with COPD Authors: Regina Leung, Zoe McKeough, Matthew Peters and Jennifer Alison DOI: 10.1183/09031936.00036912

Related Stories

Tai Chi program helps Parkinson's disease patients

February 8, 2012
An Oregon Research Institute (ORI) exercise study conducted in four Oregon cities has shown significant benefits for patients with mild-to-moderate Parkinson's disease. In an original article published in the February 9, ...

Tai chi may improve quality of life in chronic heart failure patients

April 25, 2011
Tai chi, the ancient Chinese meditative exercise, may improve quality of life, mood and exercise self-efficacy in chronic heart failure patients, according to research led by a team at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Older subjects who regularly practice Tai Chi found to have better arterial compliance

April 3, 2012
Exercise which can achieve both cardiovascular function and muscle strength "would be a preferred mode of training for older persons", say investigators

Recommended for you

Creation of synthetic horsepox virus could lead to more effective smallpox vaccine

January 19, 2018
UAlberta researchers created a new synthetic virus that could lead to the development of a more effective vaccine against smallpox. The discovery demonstrates how techniques based on the use of synthetic DNA can be used to ...

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

January 18, 2018
Though the Zika virus is widely known for a recent outbreak that caused children to be born with microencephaly, or having a small head, and other malformations, scientists have struggled to explain how the virus affects ...

Certain flu virus mutations may compensate for fitness costs of other mutations

January 18, 2018
Seasonal flu viruses continually undergo mutations that help them evade the human immune system, but some of these mutations can reduce a virus's potency. According to new research published in PLOS Pathogens, certain mutations ...

Study reveals how MRSA infection compromises lymphatic function

January 17, 2018
Infections of the skin or other soft tissues with the hard-to-treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria appear to permanently compromise the lymphatic system, which is crucial to immune system function. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.