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Simplified Tai Chi Program May Be More Effective for the Functional Movement in Older Adults

December 21, 2016 - A new Chinese study, published by Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine in November of 2016, aimed to evaluate and compare the effect of two different types of Tai Chi programs on the Functional Movement Screening (FMS) in older adults.

Ninety older adults (61 to 70 year old) who met the eligibility criteria were randomized into three different groups: a traditional Tai Chi exercise (TTC), a simplified Tai Chi exercise (TCRT), or a control group (routine activity). The FMS consisted of the deep squat, hurdle step, in-line lunge, shoulder mobility, active straight leg rise, trunk stability push-up, and rotatory stability, which was used to measure physical function before the present study and after six months of Tai Chi interventions.

Seventy-nine participants completed the present study (23 from the TTC group, 29 from the TCRT group and 27 from the control group). Significant improvement on the FMS tests between the baseline and after the six-month intervention was observed in both Tai Chi programs, whereas no significant improvement was observed in the control group. In addition, participants in the TCRT group demonstrated greater improvement than those in the TTC group.

The conclusion from the results was that the TCRT is more effective in improving the physical function in older adults when compared to the traditional Tai Chi modality, particularly for improving balance.

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