Open Journal of Preventive Medicine

Volume 7, Issue 2 (February 2017)

ISSN Print: 2162-2477   ISSN Online: 2162-2485

Google-based Impact Factor: 1.49  Citations  h5-index & Ranking

Taichi Softball as a Novel Chinese Health-Promoting Exercise for Physical Health: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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DOI: 10.4236/ojpm.2017.72002    1,000 Downloads   1,483 Views   Citations


Background: Taichi softball was voted as one of the most popular health-promoting exercises in the category of ball games, which is attributed to that Taichi softball is not only beneficial for lower extremity-related physical health (e.g., balance, leg strength, and flexibility), but can also develop manipulative skill and hand-eye coordination (eating, bathing, dressing, bathing required manipulative skills, grips movement and strength). However, the positive effects of Taichi softball on physical health have rarely been investigated. Therefore, the purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the effect of Taichi softball on physical health. Methods: Five electronic databases were used to conduct literature searches. Two review authors independently extracted data in a standardized manner. The methodological quality of studies included was independently evaluated according to the Cochrane Collaboration’s for Assessing Risk of Bias from the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Review Interventions. The standard mean difference (SMD) and 95% confidence interval (CI) using more conservative random effects model were calculated. Results: The sample size of 411 participants ranged from 32 to 150 in the RCTs, along with a wide age range from 18 to 75. The length of Taichi softball intervention peri-ods in the eligible studies ranged from 12 weeks to 12 months. The participants in the studies consisted of healthy college students, patients with Type 2 diabe-tes, and older adults from community centers. Six randomized controlled trials were used for the meta-analysis. The aggregated results are in favor of Taichi softball on improving physical health in participants with healthy status and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. The improvement on the primary components of the physical health consisted of handgrip strength (SMD, -0.6, 95% CI -0.84 to 0.36, p < 0.00001), trunk flexibility (SMD, -0.4, 95% CI -0.74 to -0.05, p = 0.03), static (SMD, -0.73, 95% CI -0.94 to -0.51, p < 0.00001) and dynamic balance (SMD, -0.68, 95% CI -1.2 to -0.17, p = 0.009). Conclusions: Taichi softball appears to be beneficial for improving physical health (hand strength, physical balance, flexibility, aerobic endurance, resting heart rate, diastolic and systolic pressures) among healthy adults and patients with Type 2 Diabetes. However, because of the low methodological quality of assessment, ill-designed experimental designs, and small study size, a definite conclusion of Taichi softball improving physical health can be confirmed along with high-quality studies with long follow-up.

Cite this paper

Zou, L. , Wang, H. , Zhang, M. , Xiao, Z. and Fang, Q. (2017) Taichi Softball as a Novel Chinese Health-Promoting Exercise for Physical Health: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 7, 15-31. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2017.72002.

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