A total of 24 studies were selected, 10 being randomized controlled trials and 14 being nonrandomized controlled trials. Twenty of the studies produced evidence favorable to using Tai Chi to improve postural control, indicating sufficient support for Tai Chi. Support for the reduction of falls was especially strong since 8 of 10 randomized controlled trials reported fall reduction.
- Medscape Today, from WebMD, 10/26/2010
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Institute of Chicago indicates that people with moderate balance problems can be helped by practicing T'ai Chi. Participants...of the 2 month course ...experienced about a 10 percent improvement in balance. An Emory University study supports Hain's findings. Prevention Magazine V. 46 Dec. 94 p. 71-72
Exercise subjects showed significant improvement on 5 of 14 items in the Berg Balance Scale and on the total score. Leg strength increased significantly on post-test as measured by the Wall-Sit Test. Control subjects reported 6 falls and exercise subjects no falls during the follow-up year.
-- Journal of American Medicine of Women Association, 59, 255-61.
Long-term Tai Chi practitioners had a significantly faster reflex reaction time in hamstrings and gastrocnemius muscles and a longer balance time on a tilt board than short-term Tai Chi practitioners and nonpractitioners. Both long- and short-term Tai Chi practitioners had significantly less knee joint angle-repositioning error than nonpractitioners.
-- Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 87, 82-7
Tai Chi subjects, but not controls, significantly reduced both TA response time and occurrence of co-contraction of antagonist muscles of the perturbed leg. Clinical balance measures also significantly improved after Tai Chi. Tai Chi enhanced neuromuscular responses controlling the ankle joint of the perturbed leg. Fast, accurate neuromuscular activation is crucial for efficacious response to slips or trips.
-- Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 18, 7-19
Greater balance was noted in the Tai Chi group.
-- Journal of Gerontological Nursing 22(10), 12-17
Statistical analysis demonstrated that, after 4 and 8 weeks of intensive Tai Chi training, the elderly subjects achieved significantly better 1) vestibular ratio in the sensory organization test and 2) directional control of their leaning trajectory in the limits of stability test, when compared with those of the control group. These improvements were maintained even at follow-up 4 weeks afterward. Furthermore, the improved balance performance from week 4 on was comparable to that of experienced Tai Chi practitioners.
-- Medicine and Science for Sports Exercise, 36, 648-57
The elderly people who regularly practiced tai chi not only showed better proprioception at the ankle and knee joints than sedentary controls, but also better ankle kinaesthesis than swimmers/runners. The large benefits of tai chi exercise on proprioception may result in the maintenance of balance control in older people.
-- British Journal of Sports Medicine, 38, 50-4
Effect Of Knee-protected Tai Chi Aerobic (KPTCA) For Community-dwelling Middle-aged Adults
National Taiwan Sport University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
CONCLUSIONS: These results indicated that the KPTCA is effective in improving dynamic balance, lower extremity flexor strength, and aerobic capacity in community-dwelling middle-aged adults. These improvements may increase the ability of the middle-aged to face the physical challenge in the everyday life.
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