The effects of Tai Chi on body balance in elderly people--a review of studies from the early 21st century.

Author: Maciaszek J, Osiński W.
Affiliation: University School of Physical Education in Poznań, Poland.
Conference/Journal: Am J Chin Med
Date published: 2010
Other: Volume ID: 38 , Issue ID: 2 , Pages: 219-29 , Word Count: 158

We performed a systematic review of studies regarding the effects of Tai Chi on the body balance of people older than 60 years. The Medline, SPORTDiscus and Academic Search Complete databases were searched for relevant studies published after the year 2000. Original randomized controlled trials, non-randomized controlled studies and observational studies were included in this review if they evaluated Tai Chi for the treatment of body balance disorder or fall prevention, and if they contained at least one of the following key words: Tai Chi, body balance, stability, elderly, old, training or posturography. These studies suggest that participation in Tai Chi may improve the body balance of elderly people; however, more information is needed to determine the extent to which Tai Chi is more effective than other methods, especially different types of physical exercise. In addition, subgroup analyses should be performed to determine the effects of Tai Chi in people with different physical characteristics. Directions for future research are discussed.