Effects of Tai Chi on cognitive function in community-dwelling older adults: a review

Geriatr Nurs. Jan-Feb 2014;35(1):9-19. doi: 10.1016/j.gerinurse.2013.10.013. Epub 2013 Oct 24.


As the population of the United States ages, activities to maintain or improve cognitive function will become increasingly important to preserve functional ability, independence and health-related quality of life. This article is a review of recent research on Tai Chi and cognitive function in community-dwelling older adults. Of the 12 studies reviewed, 10 reported improvement in measures of executive function, language, learning, and/or memory. Several design features make comparisons across studies challenging. As a moderate-intensity, low-impact form of exercise, Tai Chi is appropriate for older adults and seems to offer positive cognitive benefits. Recommendations for future research are provided.

Keywords: Cognitive function; Mind-body exercise; Older adults; Tai Chi.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cognition*
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Tai Ji*
  • United States