The effects of Tai Chi Chuan on physiological function and fear of falling in the less robust elderly: an intervention study for preventing falls

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. Mar-Apr 2006;42(2):107-16. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2005.06.007. Epub 2005 Aug 26.

Abstract

The aim of this report is to investigate the effects of 8 weeks of intensive Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) training on physiological function and fear of falling (FOF) in the less-robust elderly. Forty-nine community-dwelling elderly, aged 60 or older, were classified randomly into a TCC training or control group. Physical performance measures (including one-leg stance, trunk flexion, and walking speed) and interviews were conducted before and after the intervention. The TCC group showed significant improvements in balance and flexibility, and a reduced FOF, when compared with the control group after the intervention. However, walking speed did not change significantly. The results suggest that a high-frequency, short-term TCC training program can improve balance, flexibility, and increase the confidence of less-robust elderly. These suggest the effectiveness of TCC for intervention as a means to prevent falling among high-risk elderly populations.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Aged
  • Fear / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postural Balance / physiology
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Tai Ji*