University of Twente,2010
The past decades interest in alternative medicine in the Netherlands has grown. Tai Chi, a type of alternative medicine, is a combination of rhythmic movement and self-defense practice with relaxation trough deep breathing and self-awareness so a person can connect his mind and body. Several investigators demonstrated a positive effect of Tai Chi on physical and mental health. This pilot study addresses the effect of Tai Chi on work engagement. Work engagement - a concept of positive psychology - is a positive, work- related psychological state which is characterized by vigor, dedication and absorption. Work engagement is positively correlated to mental and physical health. Participants followed a ten week Tai Chi program, meaning they followed one Tai Chi session a week under supervision of a professional Tai Chi practitioner. By using questionnaires, during ten weeks, participants reported on their level of work engagement and mental and physical health. The expectation was that Tai Chi has a positive effect on work engagement and mental and physical health. Results showed that a Tai Chi session has a positive, short term effect on physical tension, balance and mental relaxation, but not on energy. No convincing evidence on the effects of a ten week Tai Chi program was found.