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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:9710941. doi: 10.1155/2016/9710941. Epub 2016 Nov 30.

Tai Chi Can Improve Postural Stability as Measured by Resistance to Perturbation Related to Upper Limb Movement among Healthy Older Adults.

Author information

1
Key Laboratory of Exercise and Health Sciences of Ministry of Education, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai 200438, China.
2
Kinesiology and Physical Education Department, Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, IL 60115, USA.
3
Key Laboratory of Exercise and Health Sciences of Ministry of Education, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai 200438, China; School of Health & Kinesiology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA 30460, USA.

Abstract

Purpose. The aim of the study was to examine the effects of Tai Chi (TC) training on postural control when upright standing was perturbed by upper limb movement. Methods. Three groups, TC, Brisk walk (BW), and sedentary (SE), of thirty-six participants aged from 65 to 75 years were recruited from local community centers. Participants performed static balance task (quiet standing for 30 s with eyes open and closed) and fitting task (two different reaching distances X three different opening sizes to fit objects through). During tasks, the COP data was recorded while standing on the force plate. Criteria measures calculated from COP data were the maximum displacement in anterior-posterior (AP) and medial-lateral (ML) directions, the 95% confidence ellipse area (95% area), and the mean velocity. Results. No significant effect was observed in the static balance task. For fitting tasks, the group effect was observed in all directions on COP 95% area (p < 0.05) and the TC group showed reduced area. The tests of subject contrasts showed significant trends for reaching different distances and fitting different openings conditions in all directions, the 95% area, and the mean velocity (p < 0.05). Conclusion. Compared to the other two groups, long-term TC exercise helps in reducing the effects of upper body perturbation as measured by posture sway.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this paper.

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