Well-being predictors of body composition and associated behavioral risk factors in midlife/older women participating in a meditative movement intervention: an exploratory analysis

Author: Dara L James1, Linda K Larkey1, Kimberley Goldsmith2, Bronwynne Evans1, Ann Sebren3, Nanako A Hawley4
1 Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA.
2 Department of Biostatistics & Informatics, Inst. Of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK.
3 College of Health Solutions, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA.
4 College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL, USA.
Conference/Journal: J Clin Transl Sci
Date published: 2023 Sep 4
Other: Volume ID: 7 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: e194 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1017/cts.2023.621. , Word Count: 244

Greater than 40% of women are obese, a key risk factor for cardiometabolic, neurocognitive disease, mood disorders, and certain cancers. Obesity and unfavorable body composition can compromise physical and psychological health and well-being. Preliminary evidence demonstrates Meditative Movement (i.e., Tai Chi Easy) improves health outcomes and body composition among midlife/older women. This single-group pilot study explored relationships between well-being predictors related to body composition and associated behavioral risk factors in midlife/older women pre-to-post Tai Chi Easy intervention.

Eligible women 45-75 years old, participated in once-weekly 30-minute Tai Chi Easy classes over 8-weeks. Pre/post-intervention data included self-report surveys and on-site body composition. Multivariate linear regression models were fitted with putative predictor variables having correlations p-values of 0.20 or less with sleep quality and eating behaviors.

Participants (N = 36) (M age = 53.7) were White (80.4%) and attended ≥ 4 years of college (70.6%). Analyses resulted in one independent variable per model as a predictor of the dependent variables of sleep quality and emotional eating. Results indicated: (1) stress explained 13.4% sleep quality variance (F (2, 20) = 2.71, p = 0.09) and (2) self-compassion explained 42.1% emotional eating variance (F (2, 31) = 12.54, p < .01).

Findings suggest stress and self-compassion partially explain variance in the dependent variables of sleep quality and emotional eating, both associated behavioral risk factors of body composition. Additional research may guide interventions to test efficacy and examine mediators to improve well-being predictors, body composition, and associated behavioral risk factors among midlife/older women.

Keywords: Qigong; Stress; Tai Chi; eating; sleep.

PMID: 37771415 PMCID: PMC10523288 DOI: 10.1017/cts.2023.621