The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    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.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Tai chi in female computer users

    Workplace computer use has been linked to musculoskeletal disorders, a leading cause of work disability and productivity losses in industrialized nations.

    Researchers from York University, in Toronto, Ontario studied tai chi as a workplace physical exercise for health promotion.

    First, the details.

    • 52 participants were enrolled in a class conducted by a professional tai chi practitioner during lunch hour.
    • The exercise program consisted of 2, 50-minute tai chi classes per week for 12 weeks.
    • Fitness was assessed before and after the program, and included resting heart rate, resting blood pressure, anthropometric measures, musculoskeletal fitness, and back fitness.
    • Psychological well-being was assessed using the Perceived Stress Scale.

    And, the results.

    • There were significant positive results in several areas.
      • Resting heart rate
      • Waist circumference
      • Hand grip strength

    The bottom line?

    The authors conclude, “The tai chi program was effective in improving musculoskeletal fitness and psychological well-being.”

    That’s nice.

    But considering that hand/arm and neck/shoulder musculoskeletal symptoms are common among computer users — with more than 50% reporting musculoskeletal symptoms during the first year after starting a new job — it’s too bad to that the researchers couldn’t show benefit in terms of musculoskeletal abnormalities.

    A no treatment group for comparison would have been instructive.

    1/3/10 18:26 JR

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