This study assessed the effect of 1-year regular Tai Chi (TC) on neuromuscular reaction in elderly women. A total of 41 elderly women (55 years-68 years) completed the study. The TC group (n = 21) performed the 24-form TC, while the control group (C, n = 20) was instructed to read newspapers or watch television when the TC group practised. Electromyogram measurements were conducted before and after intervention. After a year-long intervention, the post-test results of between-group neuromuscular reaction time showed significant differences in the rectus femoris (t = 3.607, p = 0.001), semitendinosus (t = 2.678, p = 0.011), anterior tibialis (t = 3.455, p = 0.001), and gastrocnemius muscles (t = 4.061, p = 0.000). Within-group results showed that the TC group had significantly shorter neuromuscular reaction time compared to its baseline value in the rectus femoris (t = 3.066, p = 0.006), semitendinosus (t = 2.485, p = 0.022), anterior tibialis (t = 2.311, p = 0.032), and gastrocnemius muscles (t = 2.462, p = 0.023). Results suggested that year-long regular TC can improve neuromuscular reaction function in elderly women.
Keywords: Tai Chi; elderly women; neuromuscular reaction.