Author: Wong, Suk-wai Vivian
Title: To investigate the dynamic balance performance for elderly Tai Chi and non-Tai Chi practitioners
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2000
Subject: Older people -- Health and hygiene -- China -- Hong Kong
Equilibrium (Physiology)
Gait in humans -- China -- Hong Kong
Exercise for older people -- China -- Hong Kong
Tai chi
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences
Pages: xii, 128 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: The elderly population is increasing in Hong Kong. With aging, there will be an impairment on balance, which may result in fall. Specific balance training program is effective in improving balance performance and to reduce fall. Tai Chi is a Chinese conditioning exercise commonly practiced among the elderly, which has been shown to be beneficial to psychological as well as physiological function. Previous findings showed that Tai Chi could improve some aspects of balance in the elderly people but there is limited local study. This study is aimed to compare the dynamic balance performance of the elderly Tai Chi and non-Tai chi practitioners in Hong Kong. Two groups of 40 community-dwelling elderly subjects (>60 years) were recruited. Subjects in the Tai Chi group had practiced Tai Chi for more than one year, while those in the control group had none. The two groups were matched with respect to age, sex and physical activity level. The outcome measures chosen were the sensory organization test (SOT), the motor coordination test (MCT) and the chair-rise test. Tai Chi practitioners were significantly better in the composite score, visual and vestibular ratio of the SOT than their non Tai-Chi practicing older adults (p<0.05). Also the Tai Chi group showed significantly less loss of balance in the SOT5 and SOT 6 (p<0.05). The equilibrium score for the SOT 3, 4 and 5 were significantly better for the Tai chi practitioners (p<0.05). All these results showed that the Tai Ciii practitioners had better balance performance than the non-Tai Chi practicing elderly even when the somatosense and the visual sense were disturbed. This suggested that regular Tai Chi exercise might have beneficial effects in the visual or vestibular system, which might improve the balance function of the healthy older adults. The results for the strategy score of the SOT, the MCT and the chair-rise test showed no significant difference between the two groups. The results of this study showed the potential beneficial effects of Tai Chi for postural control in local healthy elderly. The better performance of the vestibular system of the Tai Chi practitioners provides some insight into the beneficial effects of Tai Chi on the sensory system. Further prospective study is required to investigate the efficacy of Tai Chi on the sensory systems for balance control.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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