Tai Chi and Type 2 Diabetes; Effects on Glucose, Neuropathy, Balance, and Quality of Life

Tai Chi and Type 2 Diabetes; Effects on Glucose, Neuropathy, Balance, and Quality of Life

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Researchers from the Chungnam National University, College of Nursing, Daejeon, South Korea have studied the effects of Tai Chi exercises on a range of measures linked to type 2 diabetes, including glucose control, neuropathy scores, balance, and quality of life.

The researchers focussed on 59 diabetic patients with neuropathy and put them through a “standardised Tai Chi for diabetes” programme.

This was made up of a twice weekly, 1 hour session of Tai Chi. This continued over a 12 week period.

The results, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that those in the Tai Chi group did significantly better than those in the control group in terms of total symptom scores, glucose control, balance, and quality of life.



National and international guidelines recommend replacing the amount of time spent being sedentary with physical activity to improve health. This message is especially important in the face of COVID-19, as overall sedentary behaviors have increased substantially.

In the past 30 years, prediabetes (elevated fasting or post-meal blood sugar below the levels required for diagnosis of type 2 diabetes) has grown into a major epidemic affecting nearly one in three adults. Previous studies have shown that combining aerobic exercise and diet can restore normal glucose levels in these individuals. However, the effects of resistance exercise – an important alternative to aerobic exercise – on post-meal blood sugar concentrations has not been investigated.

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