Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that is practised for both self defence and its health benefits.
Previous research has shown that tai chi health benefits include preventing falls, improving mental health and general health, most of these benefits have been observed in older populations.
New research aimed to consider the benefits of tai chi for younger people:
The aim of this study was to test the positive effect of Tai Chi on self-concept in Chinese adolescents through a 1-year Tai Chi intervention
Participants in the tai chi intervention took part in a 60-minute tai chi exercise class five times per week for 1 year, the researchers asked questions about:
- behaviour (“I do many bad things”)
- intellectual and school status (“I am good in my school work”)
- physical appearance and attributes (“I am good looking”)
- anxiety (“I cry easily”)
- popularity (“People pick on me”)
- happiness and satisfaction (“I am a happy person”)
After the year of tai chi the researches collated all of the information and reported some interesting findings:
The results from this study indicate that compared with the control group, the Tai Chi group yielded significant gains over time in some specific subdomains of self-concept
Specifically those who took part in the tai chi intervention reported perceived higher levels of good behaviours, intellect, school status, popularity and less anxiety.
While this study provides great evidence as tai chi being a successful intervention that improves psychological effects, the time commitment may be impractical for many people.