Long-term Tai Chi training is related to depressive symptoms among Tai Chi practitioners

Yingjie Li, Qian Su, Hui Guo, Hongmei Wu, Huanmin Du, Guang Yang, Ge Meng, Changping Li, Ryoichi Nagatomi, Kaijun Niu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background Due to the close association with physical and psychological health and quality of life, mood disorders, especially depressive symptoms, are an important global public-health issue. It is hypothesized that long-term physical training and mood adjustment may have a beneficial effect on the prevention of the onset of depressive symptoms. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between long-term Tai Chi training and depressive symptoms among Tai Chi practitioners. Methods This study analyzed a cross-sectional survey including 529 Japanese Tai Chi practitioners. Tai Chi training information, including total training time and a Tai Chi grade, was assessed using a structured questionnaire, and depressive symptoms were evaluated using the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) for subjects aged ≥65 and the 20-item Self-rating Depressive Scale (SDS) for subjects aged <65 with cut-off points: GDS ≥5 and SDS ≥11. Results The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 15.9%. After adjustments for potential confounding factors, the odds ratios of having depressive symptoms by increasing levels of Tai Chi training time were 1.00, 0.64 (0.37-1.11), 0.65 (0.37-1.13), 0.34 (0.18-0.65) (P for trend <0.01). Limitations This is a cross-sectional study, and not for making a clinical diagnosis of depressive symptoms. Conclusions This study has demonstrated that long-term Tai Chi training is independently related to a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms. These results suggest that long-term Tai Chi training may have a beneficial effect on the prevention of depressive symptoms. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-39
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Dec 1


  • Depressive symptoms
  • Tai Chi


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