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Top 3 Reasons for Learning Tai Chi

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Mar 25, 2009

Mind-Body-Spirit News

What motivates practitioners to study tai chi? According to a survey conducted by Michael Rabinowitz, PhD, and reported in a letter to the American Journal of Public Health (2008; 98 [12]; 2118), the three top reasons are

  1. to improve overall fitness;
  2. to relieve stress; and
  3. to improve coordination and balance in order to help avoid falls.

Other leading reasons cited were an interest in Chinese culture; use of tai chi to aid meditation; and the desire to learn an exercise that did not require equipment. The least important reasons given were to comply with a doctor’s suggestion or to accompany a friend or relative.

Rabinowitz, a longtime advocate of the benefits of tai chi, surveyed 103 students at eight schools of tai chi in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York and Wisconsin. He recommended that schools and instructors use this information to adjust the content or emphasis of classes.

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© 2009 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at