COPD Patients doing Tai Chi improved Exercise Capacity

credit: National Cancer Institute Bill Branson (Photographer) - PD

(Best Syndication News) – Patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) showed improvement after doing Tai Chi, according to a new study. The research results were published in the online edition of European Respiratory Journal and will later be published in the print edition.

The researchers suggest that Tai Chi exercise might be just as beneficial as pulmonary rehabilitation for COPD patients.

Previous studies have demonstrated that moderate forms of exercise were helpful for COPD patients to improve their symptoms of breathlessness and generally improve their quality of life. The researchers wanted to see if Sun-style Tai Chi exercise would also be beneficial for COPD patients.

Tai Chi (Sun-style) involves slow movements and is less challenging than traditional martial arts. Tai Chi has also been shown to help alleviate symptoms associated with arthritis. Because the exercise is easier to do, it may help those that would not be able to complete more intense exercise programs.

Researchers from the Concord Repatriation General Hospital and the University of Sydney, in Sydney, Australia, recruited 42 participants who have COPD. Half of the participants were assigned to attend Tai Chi lessons two times a week. These participants were also instructed to do the Tai Chi exercises at home during the week. The other half of the participants were given regular medical care and were not told to exercise.

The researchers measured the exercise capacity of all the study participants. They did this by having the participants complete a walking test and by completing the Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire. The Tai Chi participants were also tested to see if they achieved sufficient skills to complete the exercises.

The results showed that the Tai Chi group could walk for much longer during the walking test compared to the standard medical care group. The Tai Chi group also showed a better score on the quality of life questionnaire.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

Ref: Title: 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
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