Effects of individualized Tai-Chi on balance and lower-limb strength in older adults.

Author: Penn IW1,2, Sung WH3, Lin CH3, Chuang E4, Chuang TY5, Lin PH6
Author Information:
1School of Medicine, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City, 24205, Taiwan.
2Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Fu Jen Catholic University Hospital, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City, 24352, Taiwan.
3Department of Physical Therapy and Assistive Technology, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, 11221, Taiwan.
4Department of Integrative Biology Alumnus, University of California, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA.
5Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Taipei Veterans General Hospital and National Yang Ming University, Taipei, 11217, Taiwan.
6Center for Rehabilitation and Technical Aids, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, 11217, Taiwan. phlin2@vghtpe.gov.tw.
Conference/Journal: BMC Geriatr.
Date published: 2019 Aug 27
Other: Volume ID: 19 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 235 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1186/s12877-019-1250-8. , Word Count: 237

BACKGROUND: To investigate whether a simplified and personalized Tai-Chi program could be beneficial for practitioners. A prospective quasi-experimental observer-blinded controlled trial was done in Beitou District of Taipei City.

METHODS: Community-dwelling adults aged 65 and older without debilitating disease (N = 50) participated the study. Those who were willing to participate in exercise program were assigned to individualized Tai-Chi (iTC) group (n = 20), receiving iTC training for 8 weeks, and traditional Tai-Chi (tTC) group (n = 15), receiving tTC training for 8 weeks. Those who were not willing to participate in exercise training were included in the control group (n = 15). Functional balance tests, the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), timed up-and-go (TUG) test, functional-reach test, and measurement of lower-extremity muscle strength were conducted before and 8 weeks after the intervention.

RESULTS: Significant improvements were noted in all functional balance tests and strength assessments of 16 major lower-limb muscle groups in participants of the iTC group compared to the control group, whereas only BBS and muscle strength of hips and ankles were improved in the tTC group. Practitioners of iTC outperformed tTC in BBS and strength of two major muscles.

CONCLUSIONS: Personalized Tai-Chi training designed based on an objective measurement and conducted according to graded intensity and complexity benefitted practitioners after a short period.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Trial registration number: ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT03659396 , Unique Protocol ID: 1000087 Date of registration: 03/28/2017 The trial was registered retrospectively.

KEYWORDS: Exercise; Functional balance; Muscle strength; Tai-chi

PMID: 31455225 PMCID: PMC6712673 DOI: 10.1186/s12877-019-1250-8