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.
- Depressive symptoms
- Tai Chi