Tai chi practice in the workplace can improve functional fitness and feelings of well-being, according to a study published in Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation (2009; 34 , 331–38). Researchers from York University, Toronto, studied the effects of a workplace tai chi program on physical fitness and well-being among female university employees who used computers. Fifty-two subjects participated in two 50-minute tai chi classes per week for 12 weeks. Pre- and post-program fitness assessments included resting heart rate, resting blood pressure, body composition, musculoskeletal fitness and back fitness. Researchers also assessed baseline and post-training psychological well-being using the Perceived Stress Scale.
Data analysis showed that tai chi class participants improved resting heart rate, waist circumference and hand grip strength, as well as psychological well-being.
Study authors recommended tai chi practice as an economic, effective and convenient workplace intervention. Research limitations included the small sample size, lack of randomization and lack of a control group.