Acute Effects of Tai Chi Training on Cognitive and Cardiovascular Responses in Late Middle-Aged Adults: A Pilot Study.

Author: Cheung TCY1, Liu KPY2, Wong JYH3, Bae YH4, Hui SS5, Tsang WWN6, Cheng YTY1, Fong SSM1
Author Information:
1School of Public Health, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.
2School of Science and Health (Occupational Therapy), Western Sydney University, Penrith, NSW, Australia.
3School of Nursing, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.
4Rehabilitation Clinical Research Center, Korea Worker's Compensation & Welfare Service Daegu Hospital, Daegu, Republic of Korea.
5Department of Sports Science and Physical Education, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong.
6Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong.
Conference/Journal: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med.
Date published: 2018 Jan 31
Other: Volume ID: 2018 , Pages: 7575123 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1155/2018/7575123. eCollection 2018. , Word Count: 212

This study explored the immediate effects of Tai Chi (TC) training on attention and meditation, perceived stress level, heart rate, oxygen saturation level in blood, and palmar skin temperature in late middle-aged adults. Twenty TC practitioners and 20 nonpractitioners volunteered to join the study. After baseline measurements were taken, the TC group performed TC for 10 minutes while their cognitive states and cardiovascular responses were concurrently monitored. The control group rested for the same duration in a standing position. Both groups were then reassessed. The participants' attention and meditation levels were measured using electroencephalography; stress levels were measured using Perceived Stress Scale; heart rate and blood oxygenation were measured using an oximeter; and palmar skin temperature was measured using an infrared thermometer. Attention level tended to increase during TC and dropped immediately thereafter (p < 0.001). Perceived stress level decreased from baseline to posttest in exclusively the TC group (p = 0.005). Heart rate increased during TC (p < 0.001) and decreased thereafter (p = 0.001). No significant group, time, or group-by-time interaction effects were found in the meditation level, palmar skin temperature, and blood oxygenation outcomes. While a 10-minute TC training could temporarily improve attention and decrease perceived stress levels, it could not improve meditation, palmar skin temperature, or blood oxygenation among late middle-aged adults.

PMID: 29636784 PMCID: PMC5831874 DOI: 10.1155/2018/7575123