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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2015 Mar-Apr;60(2):233-8. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2014.10.016. Epub 2014 Nov 18.

Improvement of balance control ability and flexibility in the elderly Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) practitioners: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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College of Physical Education, Ludong University, Yantai 264025, Shandong, China. Electronic address:
Center for Reproductive Medicine, Yuhuanding Hospital, Yantai 264000, China.



Falls are the main cause of accidental death in the elderly people, which is associated with balance control ability and flexibility of the older adults. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of TCC on the balance control and flexibility of the older adults.


We searched the PubMed, Embase and Cochrane library with the deadline of May 15th, 2014. This meta-analysis was performed using RevMan5.0 software. The overall weighted mean difference (WMD) and its 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated.


A total of 7 randomized controlled trials including 1088 participants (544 TCC practitioners and 544 participants with other interventions) were considered in this meta-analysis. The pooled estimate of Get up and Go test (WMD=1.04; 95%CI: 0.67-1.41; P<0.0001) indicated that TCC significantly shorten the completion time of Get up and Go test of the older adults, indicating flexibility of older adults was improved by practicing TCC. The overall estimates of the single-leg stand test (WMD=5.33; 95%CI: 3.35-7.32; P<0.0001) and Berg (balance) test (WMD=2.86; 95%CI: 1.91-3.81; P<0.0001) indicated that TCC could significantly prolong the time of single-leg stand and improve the balance control ability of older adults.


In conclusion, TCC practice was beneficial to improve the balance control ability and flexibility of older adults, which may be the reason of preventing falls.


Balance control; Flexibility; Meta-analysis; Tai Chi Chuan

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