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Tai Chi Tackles Problematic Mobile Phone Use by College Students

Jan 26, 2024 #Young People

Problematic use of mobile phones has been a serious public health issue. A study on this subject appeared in the January 2024 issue of Journal of psychiatric research: a parallel three-arm randomized controlled trial. Ninety college students with this issue were randomly assigned to the aerobic exercise group, the Tai Chi Chuan group, or the wait-list control group, with 30 people in each group. At the end of the intervention, stool samples from the study participants were collected for biological analysis based on 16 S rDNA amplicon sequencing technology.

The primary outcome was addiction symptoms assessed by the Smartphone Addiction Scale-Short Version (SAS-SV). The secondary outcomes are emotional symptoms, physical symptoms, and flora species.

Compared with the control group, the aerobic exercise group and the Tai Chi group showed reductions in problematic use levels, physical and mental fatigue, but there was no difference between the two groups. However, the effect of increasing self-esteem embodied in the Tai Chi group was not present in the aerobic exercise group.

Compared to the control group, the relative abundance of two bacteria (Bacteroidaceae and Bacteroides) were lower in the aerobic exercise group, while the relative abundance of two other bacteria (Erysipelotrichaceae and Alistipes) were lower in the Tai Chi group. The lower relative abundance of these bacteria indicates a lower level of problematic use of mobile phones.

In conclusion, aerobic exercise and Tai Chi are each an effective, safe, and efficient intervention for college students with problematic use of mobile phones, providing some physiological and psychological benefits and having some impact on their intestinal flora.

By Tai Chi