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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 976123, 10 pages
Research Article

Effects of Tai Chi and Walking Exercises on Weight Loss, Metabolic Syndrome Parameters, and Bone Mineral Density: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial

1Department of Sports Science and Physical Education, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong
2Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong

Received 13 May 2015; Accepted 28 June 2015

Academic Editor: Cheryl Hawk

Copyright © 2015 Stanley Sai-Chuen Hui 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.


Tai Chi and walking are both moderate-intensity physical activity (PA) that can be easily practiced in daily life. The objective of the study was to determine the effects of these two PAs on weight loss, metabolic syndrome parameters, and bone mineral density (BMD) in Chinese adults. We randomized 374 middle-aged subjects (45.8 ± 5.3 years) into 12-week training (45 minutes per day, 5 days per week) of Tai Chi or self-paced walking or control group . On average, Tai Chi and walking groups lost 0.50 and 0.76 kg of body weight and 0.47 and 0.59 kg of fat mass after intervention, respectively. The between-group difference of waist circumference (WC) and fasting blood glucose (FBG) was −3.7 cm and −0.18 mmol/L for Tai Chi versus control and −4.1 cm and −0.22 mmol/L for walking versus control. No significant differences were observed regarding lean mass, blood pressure, triglycerides, total cholesterol, high-density and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and BMD compared to control. Change in lean mass, not fat mass or total weight loss, was significantly correlated to the change in BMD. Our results suggest that both of these two PAs can produce moderate weight loss and significantly improve the WC and FBG in Hong Kong Chinese adults, with no additional effects on BMD.