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Fam Pract. 2004 Feb;21(1):107-13.

The efficacy of Tai Chi Chuan in older adults: a systematic review.

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Department of General Practice, Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam, PO Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) on fall prevention, balance and cardiorespiratory functions in the elderly.


A systematic review was carried out according to the Cochrane standards. A computerized literature search was carried out. Studies were selected when they had an experimental design; the age of the study population was >50; one of the interventions was a form of TCC; and when falls, balance or cardiorespiratory functions were used as an outcome measure. A total of seven studies were included, with in total 505 participants, of whom all but 27 were healthy seniors, age between 53 and 96 years.


In most studies, the intervention of TCC is a modified Yang style, varying from 10 to 24 forms. The intensity of TCC varies from 1 h weekly for 10 weeks to 1 h every morning for 1 year. One study used falls as outcome measure and reported a beneficial effect of 47% in the TCC group. All studies mention a beneficial effect of TCC, but in most studies this conclusion was based on a pre-post analysis.


There is limited evidence that TCC is effective in reducing falls and blood pressure in the elderly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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