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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 879712, 8 pages
Research Article

The Effects of Tai Chi in Centrally Obese Adults with Depression Symptoms

1The University of Queensland School of Medicine, Brisbane, QLD 4102, Australia
2Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310053, China
3Wuhan Sports University, Wuhan, Hubei 430079, China
4Mater Health Services, Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia
5Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services, Brisbane, QLD 4122, Australia
6Centre for Neuroscience, Recovery and Mental Health, Brisbane, QLD 4122, Australia
7The University of Queensland School of Public Health, Brisbane, QLD 4006, Australia
8The University of Queensland School of Human Movement Studies, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
9Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
10RMIT University School of Health Sciences, Melbourne, VIC 3083, Australia
11The University of Queensland School of Psychology, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
12Mental Health Service, Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, QLD 4029, Australia
13School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia

Received 16 October 2014; Revised 12 December 2014; Accepted 28 December 2014

Academic Editor: Christopher G. Lis

Copyright © 2015 Xin Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study examined the effects of Tai Chi, a low-impact mind-body movement therapy, on severity of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms in centrally obese people with elevated depression symptoms. In total, 213 participants were randomized to a 24-week Tai Chi intervention program or a wait-list control group. Assessments were conducted at baseline and 12 and 24 weeks. Outcomes were severity of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms, leg strength, central obesity, and other measures of metabolic symptom. There were statistically significant between-group differences in favor of the Tai Chi group in depression (mean difference = −5.6 units, ), anxiety (−2.3 units, ), and stress (−3.6 units, ) symptom scores and leg strength (1.1 units, ) at 12 weeks. These changes were further improved or maintained in the Tai Chi group relative to the control group during the second 12 weeks of follow-up. Tai Chi appears to be beneficial for reducing severity of depression, anxiety, and stress and leg strength in centrally obese people with depression symptoms. More studies with longer follow-up are needed to confirm the findings. This trial is registered with ACTRN12613000010796.