Effect of Tai Chi on body balance: randomized controlled trial in elderly men with dizziness

Am J Chin Med. 2012;40(2):245-53. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X1250019X.


The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of 18-week Tai Chi training on body balance in a dynamic trial among elderly men with dizziness. The study covered subjects aged 60 to 80 years. We identified 40 men who reported a history of dizziness. The subjects were recruited using direct mailings and a community information campaign. The participants were randomly assigned to either the exercise intervention (n = 20) or control group (n = 20). The Tai Chi group participated in an 18-week exercise class held for 45 minutes twice a week. Body balance was studied in two ways: using the "8 foot up and go test" (Rikli and Jones 2001) and using a Computer Posturographic System PE 90 (manufactured by Military Institute of Aviation Medicine in Warsaw and outfitted with Pro-Med modified software). The ability to perform specific tasks (maximal deflections in four directions) was measured on the posturographic platform. The variation in results obtained on the first and second date of tests in the experimental and control groups was confirmed statistically using four parameters, i.e. "8 foot up to and go test (H = 8.21;p = 0.003), forward deflection (H = 3.70;p = 0.050), backward deflection (H = 5.04;p = 0.024) and maximum sway area (H = 8.86;p = 0.002). Consequently, we found that the 18-week period of Tai-Chi exercises, with a frequency of twice a week for 45 minutes, is beneficial for dynamic balance, which is important for the reduction of fall risk factors among elderly men with dizziness.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Dizziness / physiopathology
  • Dizziness / therapy*
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postural Balance*
  • Tai Ji*