Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Altern Ther Health Med. 2006 Mar-Apr;12(2):50-8.

Improvement in balance, strength, and flexibility after 12 weeks of Tai chi exercise in ethnic Chinese adults with cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Author information

  • 1Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford University, Calif, USA.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Declines in physical performance are associated with aging and chronic health conditions. Appropriate physical activity interventions can reverse functional limitations and help maintain independent living. Tai chi is a popular form of exercise in China among older adults.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether tai chi improves balance, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility over time.

DESIGN:

Repeated measures intervention; data collected at baseline, 6 weeks, and 12 weeks.

SETTING:

Community center in the San Francisco Bay Area.

PARTICIPANTS:

Thirty-nine Chinese adults with at least 1 cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor.

INTERVENTIONS:

A 60-minute tai chi exercise class 3 times per week for 12 weeks.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

A battery of physical fitness measures specifically developed for older adults assessed balance, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility.

RESULTS:

Subjects were 65.7 (+/- 8.3) years old, Cantonese-speaking (97%) immigrants, with 12 years or less of formal education (87%) and very low income (67%). Reported CVD risk factors were hypertension (92%), hypercholesteremia (49%), diabetes (21%), and 1 current smoker. Subjects were below the 50th percentile of fitness at baseline compared to age- and gender-specific normative US data. Statistically significant improvements were observed in all balance, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility measures after 6 weeks, and they increased further after 12 weeks.

CONCLUSIONS:

Tai chi is a potent intervention that improved balance, upper- and lower-body muscular strength and endurance, and upper- and lower-body flexibility in these older Chinese adults. These findings provide important information for future community-based tai chi exercise programs and support current public health initiatives to reduce disability from chronic health conditions and enhance physical function in older adults.

PMID:
16541997
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk