The influence of intense Tai Chi training on physical performance and hemodynamic outcomes in transitionally frail older adults

Author: Wolf, S., O’Grandy, M., Easley, K., Guo, Y., Kressig, R. & Kutner, M.
Conference/Journal: Journal of Gerontology A Biological Science and Medical Science
Date published: 2006
Other: Volume ID: 61 , Pages: 184-189 , Word Count: 159

METHODS: This 48-week randomized clinical trial was provided for 291 women and 20 men, who were transitionally frail, >or=70 years old, and had fallen at least once within the past year. Physical performance (freely chosen gait speed, reach, chair-rises, 360 degrees turn, picking up an object from the floor, and single limb support) and hemodynamic outcomes (heart rate and blood pressure) were obtained at baseline and after 4, 8, and 12 months. RESULTS: Mean percent change (baseline to 1 year) for gait speed increased similarly in both the tai chi and wellness education cohorts. However, time to complete three chair-rises decreased 12% for TC and increased 14% for WE. Baseline to 1 year mean percent change decreased among TC and increased within WE cohorts for: body mass index, systolic blood pressure, and resting heart rate (-6% vs 5%; p <.0001). Tai Chi significantly improved chair-rise and cardiovascular performance. Because TC training reduced fall occurrences in this cohort, factors influencing functional and cardiovascular improvements may also favorably impact fall events.