The effects of practicing sitting Tai Chi on balance control and eye-hand coordination in the older adults: A randomized controlled trial

Ken Y T Lee, Christina W Y Hui-Chan, Wai Nam Tsang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of 3 months of sitting Tai Chi training on the sitting balance control and eye-hand coordination of older adults subjects. Methods: We randomly assigned 59 older adults from four residential care facilities to either sitting Tai Chi group or mobilizing exercises group as control. The sitting Tai Chi group underwent 3 months of training with a total of 36 sessions (1 hour/session, 3 sessions/week). The outcome measures included sitting balance tests (testing sequential weight shifting and forward reaching in a sitting position) and eye-hand coordination tests (reaction time, movement time and accuracy in finger pointing task). Results: The Tai Chi practitioners showed significant improvement in their sequential weight shifting while sitting (improved by 29.0%, p≤0.05) and in their maximum reaching distance from a sitting position (improved by 21.2%, p≤0.05). No such improvements were found in the control group. In the eye-hand coordination test, the sitting Tai Chi practitioners had significant improvements in accuracy (improved by 17.3%, p≤0.05). Also, no improvement was found in the control group. Conclusions: The results demonstrate 3-months of sitting Tai Chi training can improve sitting balance and accuracy in finger pointing task in the older adults.Implications for RehabilitationTraditional Tai Chi poses difficulties for older adults with poor standing balance.This pilot study showed that a 3 months sitting Tai Chi training can improve sitting balance and accuracy in the finger pointing task in the older adults.Sitting Tai Chi can be a therapy option for older adults with poor standing balance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)790-794
Number of pages5
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Volume37
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015

Keywords

  • Balance
  • Exercise
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Older adults
  • Tai Chi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation

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