Tai Chi

Tai Chi (also called Tai Chi Chuan or Taiji) is an ancient Chinese martial art consisting of a series of slow but continuous movements of many parts of the body. Tai Chi movements incorporate elements of strengthening, balance, postural alignment and concentration. Tai Chi movements put emphasis on maintaining a vertical posture with extended head and trunk position, constantly shifting weight from one leg to the other, with a lower centre of gravity (with knees and hips held in flexion).

There are many different styles of Tai Chi and the one showing in the video is called short-form Sun-style, also known as Tai Chi for Arthritis (Lam 2007), which is a modified Tai Chi program with 21 forms. Compared with other Tai Chi styles, short-form Sun-style Tai Chi involves less deep-knee bending, kicking and heavy stepping on the ground and uses more forward, backward and side stepping movements. The lower impact of the movements in short-form Sun-style Tai Chi make it a suitable type of exercise for the older age group, which is relevant to many people with COPD.


  • Lam P (2007) Tai Chi for arthritis handbook (5th edn). Australia: East Acton Publishing Pty Ltd.
  • Leung R, McKeough Z, Peters M, Alison J. Short-form Sun-style Tai Chi as an exercise training modality in people with COPD. Eur Respir J. 2013;41(5):1051-7.
  • Leung RW, McKeough ZJ, Alison JA. Tai Chi as a form of exercise training in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Expert review of respiratory medicine. 2013;7(6):587-92.