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A new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that tai chi seemed as effective as conventional exercise in reducing the waist size of middle age and older adults who suffered from central obesity. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and UCLA, examined more than 500 test subjects 50 years old and above.
The researchers randomly assigned volunteers to one of three groups: a non-exercise group, a group that did aerobic and strength exercises, and a group that practiced Yang style tai chi. Participants in the latter two groups exercised or practiced tai chi for one hour three days a week and were measured after 12 weeks and again after 38 weeks. The group practicing tai chi saw about the same reduction in their waist lines as the group doing standard exercises.