Workplace Tai Chi--Economical and Effective

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Mar 16, 2010

Mind-Body-Spirit News

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 [3], 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.

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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