Objective: To observe the effect of Tai Ji Quan (TJQ) training on strength and function of lower limbs in the aged.
Methods: Sixty senile subjects were recruited and assigned to the TJQ group and the control group (imparting health knowledge)by random digit table. Patients in the TJQ group received 24-style TJQ training for 18 months (60 min each time, 5 times per week), while those in the control group were imparted with sarcopenia related causes, pathogeneses, prevention and control measures. The maximum isometric strength of bilateral iliopsoas, quadriceps femoris, tibialis anterior muscle, hamstrings; the time for 5 sitting-up tests and Time Up and Go Test (TUGT), one-leg standing time with closed eyes test; and the score of Berg balance scale were compared between the two groups.
Results: Compared with before treatment, muscle strength increased in the TJQ group with an average increased capacity (rate) as follows, bilateral iliopsoas 5.5 kg (16.9%), quadriceps femoris 5.5 kg (26.2%), and tibialis anterior muscle 8.5 kg (36.2%) (all P < 0.05). The time for TUGT and 5 sitting-up tests was shortened by 1.3 s (16.7%) and 0.9 s (14.5%) respectively in the TJQ group. The time for one-leg standing time with closed eyes test was increased by 8.4 s (left) and 9.1 s (right) respectively. The score of Berg balance scale increased by 4.3% (P < 0.05). Compared with the control group, bilateral quadriceps femoris and tibialis anterior muscle strength increased significantly (P < 0.01); the time for TUGT and 5 sitting-up tests, the time for one-leg standing time with closed eyes test, scores of Berg balance scale were all improved in the TJQ group after intervention (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: TJQ training could improve strength of iliopsoas, quadriceps femoris, tibialis anterior muscle in the aged, elevate their balance and locomotor activities, and possibly prevent and treat sarcopenia.