The balance performance of Tai Chi and non-Tai Chi practitioners in HongKong

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The balance performance of Tai Chi and non-Tai Chi practitioners in HongKong

 

Author: Ng, Pui-ling Vivien
Title: The balance performance of Tai Chi and non-Tai Chi practitioners in HongKong
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 1999
Subject: Older people -- Health and hygiene -- China -- Hong Kong
Equilibrium (Physiology)
Exercise for older people -- China -- Hong Kong
Tai chi
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences
Pages: x, 110 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1477363
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/665
Abstract: The population of Hong Kong is aging rapidly. With age advancement, there may associate with decline in balance function and subsequently fall incidence may increase. It is therefore important to find some effective interventions to improve balance performance of the elderly people. Previous findings show that Tai Chi could improve some aspects of balance in the older adults but the results were preliminary and there is a lack of local study. This study aimed to investigate the balance performance of local Tai Chi practitioners. Nineteen Tai Chi practitioners with more than one year of experience and nineteen healthy older adults with matched physical activity level were recruited in this study for comparison. The outcome measures chosen were Functional Reach, Gait Test and Postural Sway Test. All subjects completed the balance tests with the same testing procedures. Results from the Discriminant Analysis showed that the Tai Chi practitioners were significantly better in the balance and gait performance than their non-Tai Chi practicing counterparts (p< 0.001). It was further identified that the most discriminating parameters between the two groups were the medial-lateral sway in single leg standing position, the stride length and the sway velocity in double-leg standing position. This suggests that regular Tai Chi exercise may delay the age-related decline in the postural control, and may even promote balance function of the healthy older adults. The amount of Tai Chi experience in the Tai Chi subjects was shown to be significantly correlated to adjusted Functional Reach (r=0.585, p=0.009) and sway amplitude (r=-0.500, p=0.029). This indicates that more Tai Chi practice could be beneficial to the balance function of the healthy older adults. The lack of association among the three balance and gait measures suggested that the three measures were addressing different components of balance. A variety of measures are thus necessary to investigate the effect of Tai Chi on balance. The findings from this study showed the potential value of Tai Chi in improving balance and gait function of the older adults. Further prospective controlled study is required to elucidate the efficacy of Tai Chi on balance function in older population.

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