Mediolateral sway in single-leg stance is the best discriminator of balance performance for Tai-Chi practitioners

Kit Yi Mak, Pui Ling Ng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To identify a balance measure that can best distinguish Tai-Chi from non-Tai-Chi practitioners and to examine whether longer Tai-Chi practice results in better balance control. Design: Cross-sectional comparative study. Setting: Community. Participants: Nineteen Tai-Chi practitioners (who practiced Tai Chi for 30-45min at least 3/wk for >1y) and 19 healthy subjects with regular exercise habits (who practiced Tai Chi for 30-45min at least 3/wk for >1y). Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Scores on 2 clinical tests (functional reach, gait) and 1 laboratory test (postural sway). Results: Tai-Chi practitioners had better clinical test scores for functional reach, gait speed, stride length, and sway parameters during single-leg stance (P<.05). Sway in mediolateral direction during single-leg stance was the balance performance variable that best discriminated the Tai-Chi group from non Tai-Chi group. More experience practicing Tai Chi was associated with better balance performance. Conclusions: Tai-Chi practitioners performed better both in clinical and laboratory tests when compared with subjects who did not practice Tai Chi. More Tai-Chi experience was associated with better postural control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-686
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2003


  • Balance
  • Exercise
  • Posture
  • Rehabilitation
  • Tai Chi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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