Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/15082
Title: Effect of 4- and 8-wk Intensive Tai Chi Training on balance control in the elderly
Authors: Tsang, WWN 
Hui-Chan, CWY
Keywords: Aging
Exercise
Falls
Intervention
Postural stability
Issue Date: 2004
Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Source: Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 2004, v. 36, no. 4, p. 648-657 How to cite?
Journal: Medicine and science in sports and exercise 
Abstract: Purpose: The objective of this study was to examine whether 4 and/or 8 wk of intensive Tai Chi practice could improve balance control in the healthy elderly subjects. Methods: Forty-nine community-dwelling elderly subjects (aged 69.1 ± SD 5.8 yr) voluntarily participated in an intervention program of either supervised Tai Chi or general education for 1.5 h, 6 × wk -1 for 8 wk. Two balance tests were administered using computerized dynamic posturography before, at 4 and 8 wk during training, and at 4 wk after training ended: 1) the sensory organization test measured subjects' abilities to use somatosensory, visual, and vestibular information to control their body sway during stance under six sensory conditions; and 2) the limits of stability test measured subjects' abilities to voluntarily weight shift to eight spatial positions within their base of support. These outcome measures were compared between the two intervention groups, and with those of experienced Tai Chi practitioners having means of 7.2 and 10.1 yr of practice from two previous studies. Results: Statistical analysis demonstrated that, after 4 and 8 wk of intensive Tai Chi training, the elderly subjects achieved significantly better 1) vestibular ratio in the sensory organization test (P = 0.006) and 2) directional control of their leaning trajectory in the limits of stability test (P = 0.018), when compared with those of the control group. These improvements were maintained even at follow-up 4 wk afterward. Furthermore, the improved balance performance from week 4 on was comparable to that of experienced Tai Chi practitioners. Conclusions: The above findings indicated that even 4 wk of intensive Tai Chi training are sufficient to improve balance control in the elderly subjects.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/15082
ISSN: 0195-9131
EISSN: 1530-0315
DOI: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000121941.57669.BF
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