The Benefits of Shuai Shou Gong (SSG) Demonstrated in a Randomised Control Trial (RCT) Study of Older Adults in Two Communities in Thailand

Published: 20 February 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/pzgyr97whg.1
Chao Yang,
xiao zhen


Introduction: Shuai Shou Gong (SSG) is a type of Arm Swing Exercise (ASE) developed and practiced especially by older people in China for over one thousand years to maintain physical health and well-being. Until now the potential benefits of SSG have not been investigated in a Randomised Control Trial (RCT). Materials and Methods: Fifty six older women were recruited from each of two urban communities in Khon Kaen, Thailand. One community was randomly assigned as the Exercise Group (mean age 68.3 years, standard deviation 5.6 years) and the other as the Control Group (69.4 years, 4.4 years). The Exercise Group performed SSG for 40 minutes, three days per week for two months, whereas the Control Group maintained their usual daily life. Measurements of Posture (C7 to Wall Distance (C7WD), Standing Height (SH), Flexibility (Back Scratch of Left and Right arms (BSL and BSR) and Chair Sit and Reach of Left and Right legs (CSRL and CSRR), Gait (Timed Up and Go (TUG)), and Cognition (Barthel Activities of Daily Living Index (BADL) and Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale (RSES) questionnaires) were recorded for each group prior to, on day 1, week 4, and week 8 of the SSG training. Results: The 8 week SSG training course produced a significant interaction between group and time for the combined set of all outcome measures (C7WD, SH, BSL, BSR, CSRL, CSRR, TUG, BADL, and BSES) (Modified ANOVA-Type Statistic (MATS) p-value < 0.001) and for the four categories of Posture, Flexibility, Gait, and Cognition (all Wald-Type Statistic (WTS) p-values < 0.05) and in all cases the changes in the Exercise Group were in the direction predicted to be beneficial. No significant interaction effect between time and group was found after either one session or four weeks of SSG training for any of the categories (all WTS p > 0.05) with significant effects only arising after eight weeks (all WTS p < 0.05). Thus although alterations were shown to be increasingly beneficial over time the minimum period required to produce a statistically significant benefit from performing SSG training was 8 weeks. For the Control Group no significant changes were identified for Posture, Flexibility and Cognition however a significant deterioration was observed in TUG (WTS p = 0.003). Conclusions: SSG is a holistic, gentle, rhythmic, whole body sequence of movements that may be readily learned and enjoyed in a group setting and has been confirmed in an RCT study of older adult females to produce significant benefits in Posture, Flexibility, Gait and Cognition.



Khon Kaen University


Older Adult