Detraining effects of regular Tai Chi exercise on postural control ability in older women: A randomized controlled trial

J Exerc Sci Fit. 2018 Aug;16(2):55-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jesf.2018.06.003. Epub 2018 Jun 11.


Background/objective: This study aimed to investigate the training and detraining effects of Tai Chi (TC) on postural control ability in single leg stance (SLS) by conducting a single-blind randomized controlled trial.

Method: Forty-eight older women were randomly divided into the TC, brisk walking (BW), and control(C) groups by using computer-generated program. The participants completed a 16-week intervention training and 8-week detraining program. Postural control ability in SLS was tested at the baseline, 16 t h, 20 t h, and 24 t h weeks. The primary outcomes included single-leg stance time (Time) and secondary outcomes included maximal displacement of the center of pressure (COP) in the anterior-posterior (AP) direction (D-ap), maximal displacement of the COP in the medial-lateral (ML) direction (D-ml), total length of the COP trajectories (Lng), and 95% confidence ellipse area of the COP movements (area), mean AP total excursion velocities (V-ap), and mean ML total excursion velocities (V-ml).

Results: Significant within-group difference compared with the baseline and between-groups difference compared with control group were found at 16 t h, 20 t h, and 24 t h weeks in the TC group and at the 16 t h and 20 t h weeks in the BW group in all the primary and secondary outcomes. Most of secondary outcomes including Lng, D-ml, V-ml, Area increased significantly at the 24 t h week compared with that at the 16 t h week in BW group.

Conclusions: TC was effective in improving postural control ability and maintaining intervention gains, and was recommended as an appropriate exercise to prevent falls in the older adults.

Keywords: Aging; Postural control; RCT design; Tai Chi.