Anxiety (Panic)/DepressionElderlyExerciseQigong

Qigong benefits in elderly people with depression

The results of this study show that regular qigong practice could relieve depression and improve self-efficacy and personal well being among elderly persons with chronic physical illness and depression.

The real message is that active seniors have better quality of life than their sedentary neighbors.

First, the details.

  • 82 people with depression were randomly assigned to 16 weeks of qigong practice or a newspaper reading group.

And, the results.

  • After 8 weeks the qigong group showed improved mood, self-efficacy, and personal well-being.
  • After 16 weeks there was improvement in their activities of daily living and self-concept.

The bottom line?
It’s not clear from the abstract if the improvement achieved statistical significance. However, the results are in line with the advantages reported in the elderly who participate in physical activity, tai chi, and balance training. Exercise has benefits in elderly hospitalized patients too.

The good news is that there are many options for seniors to get active.

Here’s a website with serial photos of qigong exercises.

7/29/07 16:11 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.