This systematic review examined data from 19 studies to ascertain whether Tai Chi provides an acceptable level of aerobic capacity and intensity to be recommended for cardiovascular disease prevention. Two comparisons were conducted: Tai Chi vs. walking, and traditional forms of Tai Chi vs. modified versions. Out of five studies using a modified Tai Chi style, the difference between intervention and control was statistically significant in two, and of the seven studies using a traditional long form, the difference between intervention and control was statistically significant in six and favoured the traditional long form of Tai Chi. The review discussed systemic problems with Tai Chi research and made recommendations including the need to establish a dose-response relationship between a particular style of Tai Chi and energy expenditure with VO2max, as well as between other parts of the traditional Tai Chi curriculum and energy expenditure with VO2max.
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