03. November 2016 · Comments Off · Categories: Elderly, Tai Chi Chuan

Tai chi may reduce the incidence of falls more than conventional lower extremity training (LET) in the elderly, and its effects can last for at least one year. Taiwanese researchers assigned 456 older adults with a history of falling to a tai chi group (one weekly hour-long class) or a LET class (stretching, muscle strengthening and balance training) for a six-month period. The tai chi group was significantly less likely than the LET group to experience any falls during the six-month intervention and the effects remained significant after 12 months of follow-up. Participants who independently practised tai chi or LET seven times per week or more were significantly less likely to experience injurious falls than their counterparts during the intervention and follow up. Cognitive function also improved to a greater extent in the tai chi group than in the LET group over the 18-month study period. (Effects of Home-Based Tai Chi and Lower Extremity Training and Self-Practice on Falls and Functional Outcomes in Older Fallers from the Emergency Department-A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016 Mar;64(3):518-25).

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