Tai Chi May Lower Blood Pressure More Effectively Than Aerobic Exercise

February 28, 2024 at 4:04 p.m.

A new study published in JAMA NETWORK compared different types of exercise and the effects on lowering blood pressure. 

The study asked the question: Is Tai Chi more effective in reducing blood pressure for patients when compared with aerobic exercise?

After twelve months of four one-hour tai chi or aerobic exercise sessions a week, "the tai chi group experienced a more significant reduction in blood pressure readings." 

Blood pressure that is even only mildly elevated can raise the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Participants in the study were assessed as having prehypertension, which is considered a possible precursor to hypertension, or high blood pressure. According to an article in Medical News Today about the study, prehypertension is defined as having a systolic blood pressure between 120 and 139 mmHg or a diastolic blood pressure between 80 and 89 mmHg. 

Exercise has long been known to be a vital component in the prevention of high blood pressure.

The study was a randomized clinical trial with 342 adults with prehypertension. The average age of participants was about 50 years. Researchers excluded participants with diabetes, coronary heart disease and chronic kidney disease.

The group performing tai chi during the study was compared against a group who did activities like brisk walking, jogging, or bicycling.

"Overall, the group participating in tai chi saw the most improvement in blood pressure readings. After one year, the tai chi group saw an average decrease of 7.01 mmHg in systolic blood pressure. In contrast, the aerobic group saw an average decrease of 4.61 mmHg in systolic blood pressure," reported Medical News Today.

Here is a link to the original study: 
Effect of Tai Chi vs Aerobic Exercise on Blood Pressure in Patients With Prehypertension: A Randomized Clinical Trial | Cardiology | JAMA Network Open | JAMA Network 
Share this story!