Tai Chi for older nurses: A workplace wellness pilot study

Office of Nursing Workforce, University of Vermont, Burlington, 05405-0068, USA.
Applied nursing research: ANR (Impact Factor: 0.73). 04/2010; 25(1):54-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.apnr.2010.01.002
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the feasibility of a Tai Chi workplace wellness program as a cost effective way of improving physical and mental health, reducing work related stress, and improving work productivity among older nurses in a hospital setting Design A randomized control trial of two groups (control and Tai Chi group).
A randomized control trial of two groups (control and Tai Chi group).
Northeastern academic medical center.
A convenience sample of eleven female nurses (mean age 54.4 years).
The Tai Chi group (n = 6) was asked to attend Tai Chi classes once a week offered at their worksite and to practice on their own for 10 minutes each day at least 4 days per week for 15 weeks. Controls (n = 5) received no intervention.
SF-36 Health Survey, Nursing Stress Scale (NSS), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), Sit-and-Reach test, Functional Reach test, the Work Limitations Questionnaire, workplace injury and unscheduled time off.
The two study groups were compared descriptively and changes across time in the intervention versus control were compared.
The Tai Chi group took no unscheduled time-off hours, whereas, the control group was absent 49 hours during the study period. There was also a 3% increase in work productivity and significant improvement in functional reach (p=0.03) compared to the control group. Other outcomes were not statistically significant.
This pilot study demonstrates the feasibility of Tai Chi with older female workers as a cost effective wellness option in the workplace; thus encouraging replication with a larger sample. Methodological implications were also addressed.

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    • "There fore, life style modification is needed. A number of studies suggest that mind-body exercises such as Yoga, Tai Chi and Qigong have been associated with a reduction of menopause symptoms [38e40], stress [41] [42], anxiety [43e49], depression [43] [45] [46] [49], insomnia [45,47,49e51], back pain [46,47,49,52e57] and improvement in cardiorespiratory performance [47] [49] due to their incorporation of slowly movements, controlled breathing and meditation. Rusie Dutton, a traditional exercise from Thailand is another mind-body exercise that incorporates slow and gentle movements to twist or extend the limbs and body part, controlled deep breathing and mindfulness meditation during the movements. "
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    • "Despite some non-significant findings [13] [14] [15] [16] the current state of research generally supports stress-reducing effects of Taiji such as decreasing perceived stress [11,17–26], and attenuating psychophysiological stress reactivity [27] [28]. However, investigations related to the underlying stress protective mechanisms of Taiji are still scarce [26]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aim of the studyIn this study we examined the effects of Taiji on perceived stress and general self-efficacy (GSE), and investigated the mediating role of a Taiji-induced GSE increase on Taiji-related reduction of perceived stress.Materials and methods70 healthy participants were randomly allocated either to the Taiji intervention group or the waiting list control group. The intervention lasted for 12 weeks comprising two Taiji classes per week. Before, shortly after, and two months after the intervention, we assessed the degree of perceived stress and GSE in all participants by employing the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and the GSE-Scale.ResultsCompared to controls, participants of the Taiji group showed a significantly stronger decrease of perceived stress and a higher increase in GSE from pre- to post-intervention assessment (PSS: p = 0.009; GSE: p = 0.006), as well as from pre-intervention to follow-up assessment (PSS: p = 0.018; GSE: p = 0.033). A mediator analysis based on a multiple regression approach revealed that a Taiji-related increase in GSE statistically mediated the reduction in perceived stress after Taiji as compared to baseline. Post hoc testing showed that the mediating effect of GSE was significant (p = 0.043).Conclusions Our findings confirm previously reported Taiji-related stress reducing and GSE enhancing effects with GSE increase mediating Taiji related reduction of perceived stress.
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