Numerous methods for studying the prevention of falls and age-related sensorimotor degradation have been proposed and tested. Some approaches are too impractical to use with seniors or too expensive for practitioners. Practitioners desire a simple, reliable technique. The goals of this research were to develop such an approach and to apply it in exploring the effect of Tai Chi on age-related sensorimotor degradation. The method employed artificial-neural-network (ANN) models trained by using individuals' center-of-pressure (COP) measurements and age. Ninety-six White and Chinese adults without Tai Chi training were tested. In contrast, a third group, Chinese seniors with Tai Chi training, was tested to ascertain any influence from Tai Chi on sensorimotor aging. This study supported ANN technology with COP data as a feasible tool in the exploration of sensorimotor degradation and demonstrated that Tai Chi slowed down the effects of sensorimotor aging.
The positive effects of physical activity on the well-being of older adults have been well documented. Tai chi is a suitable form of physical activity, with known physical and psychological benefits for older adults.
The objective of the current study was to compare the effects of participation in a 16-wk tai chi program on the functional fitness of older adults with and without previous tai chi experience.
The research team designed a prospective cohort study. Participants who had practiced tai chi previously for =1 y at baseline were classified as experienced; all others were considered inexperienced.
The study took place at 2 community centers in 2 locations in the Greater Toronto area of Ontario, Canada.
Participants were residents of the 2 communities.
Participants were instructed to attend two 1-h sessions of Yang-style tai chi per wk.
Data on functional fitness- strength, endurance, speed, and flexibility-were collected at baseline and after completion of the tai chi program.
Of the 143 participants who completed the study, 20.5% were classified as experienced. Experienced participants had significantly higher ratings on functional fitness tests at baseline compared with the inexperienced group. At the end of the study, inexperienced participants had experienced significant improvements in all measures of functional fitness, although experienced participants had shown significant improvements only in measures of endurance and speed.
Tai chi appears to be an optimal mode of physical activity for older adults regardless of previous experience with tai chi.
To assess some fall-related clinical variables (balance, gait, fear of falling, functional autonomy, self-actualization and self-efficacy) that might explain the fact that supervised Tai Chi has a better impact on preventing falls compared to a conventional physiotherapy program.
The participants (152 older adults over 65 who were admitted to a geriatric day hospital program) were randomly assigned to either a supervised Tai Chi group or the usual physiotherapy. The presence of the clinical variables related to falls was evaluated before the intervention (T1), immediately after (T2), and 12 months after the end of the intervention (T3).
Both exercise programs significantly improved fall-related outcomes but only the Tai Chi intervention group decreased the incidence of falls. For both groups, most variables followed the same pattern, i.e. showed significant improvement with the intervention between T1 and T2, and followed by a statistically significant decrease at the T3 evaluation. However, self-efficacy was the only variable that improved solely with the Tai Chi intervention (p?=?0.001).
The impact of supervised Tai Chi on fall prevention can not be explained by a differential effect on balance, gait and fear of falling. It appeared to be related to an increase of general self-efficacy, a phenomenon which is not seen in the conventional physiotherapy program.
Tai Chi (TC) has proven to be effective at improving musculoskeletal fitness by increasing upper and lower body strength, low back flexibility and overall physical health. The objectives of this study were to examine changes in musculoskeletal health-related fitness and self-reported physical health after a 16 week TC program in a low income multiple ethnicity mid to older adult population.
Two hundred and nine ethnically diverse mid to older community dwelling Canadian adults residing in low income neighbourhoods were enrolled in a 16 week Yang style TC program. Body Mass Index and select musculoskeletal fitness measures including upper and lower body strength, low back flexibility and self-reported physical health measured by SF 36 were collected pre and post the TC program. Determinants of health such as age, sex, marital status, education, income, ethnicity of origin, multi-morbidity conditions, weekly physical activity, previous TC experience as well as program adherence were examined as possible musculoskeletal health-related fitness change predictors.
Using paired sample t-tests significant improvements were found in both upper and lower body strength, low back flexibility, and the SF 36 physical health scores (p
Exercise training remains a cornerstone of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) in patients with chronic respiratory disease. The choice of type of exercise training depends on the physiologic requirements and goals of the individual patient as well as the available equipment at the PR center. Current evidence suggests that, at ground walking exercise training, Nordic walking exercise training, resistance training, water-based exercise training, tai chi, and nonlinear periodized exercise are all feasible and effective in (subgroups) of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In turn, these exercise training modalities can be considered as part of a comprehensive, interdisciplinary PR program.
Various exercise modes are available to improve functional fitness (FF) in older adults. However, information on the comparative capability of different exercise modes to improve FF is insufficient.
To compare the effects of aerobic, resistance, flexibility, balance, and Tai Chi programs on FF in Japanese older adults.
FF was evaluated using a chair stand, arm curl, up and go, sit and reach, back scratch, functional reach, and 12-min walk. One hundred thirteen older adults (73 +/- 6 yr, 64 men, 49 women) volunteered for one of five exercise groups: aerobic (AER), resistance (RES), balance (BAL), flexibility (FLEX), and Tai Chi (T-CHI), or they were assigned to the wait-list control group (CON). Programs were performed for 12 wk, 2 d x wk(-1) (RES, BAL, FLEX, T-CHI) or 3 d x wk(-1) (AER), and 90 min x d(-1).
Improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness was limited to AER (16%). Improvements in upper- and lower-body strength and balance/agility were outcomes of RES, BAL, and T-CHI. RES elicited the greatest upper-body strength improvement (31%), whereas BAL produced the greatest improvement in lower-body strength (40%). Improvements in balance/agility were similar across RES (10%), BAL (10%), and T-CHI (10%). Functional reach improved similarly in AER (13%), BAL (16%), and RES (15%). There were no improvements in flexibility.
Results suggest that a single mode with crossover effects could address multiple components of fitness. Therefore, a well-rounded exercise program may only need to consist of two types of exercise to improve the components of functional fitness. One type should be aerobic exercise, and the second type could be chosen from RES, BAL, and T-CHI.
Tai Chi-based exercise program provided via telerehabilitation compared to home visits in a post-stroke population who have returned home without intensive rehabilitation: study protocol for a randomized, non-inferiority clinical trial.
The incidence of strokes in industrialized nations is on the rise, particularly in the older population. In Canada, a minority of individuals who have had a stroke actually receive intensive rehabilitation because most stroke patients do not have access to services or because their motor recovery was judged adequate to return home. Thus, there is a considerable need to organize home-based rehabilitation services for everyone who has had a stroke. To meet this demand, telerehabilitation, particularly from a service center to the patient's home, is a promising alternative approach that can help improve access to rehabilitation services once patients are discharged home.
This non-inferiority study will include patients who have returned home post-stroke without requiring intensive rehabilitation. To be included in the study, participants will: 1) not be referred to an Intensive Functional Rehabilitation Unit, 2) have a Rankin score of 2 or 3, and 3) have a balance problem (Berg Balance Scale score between 46 and 54). Participants will be randomly assigned to either the teletreatment group or the home visits group. Except for the delivery mode, the intervention will be the same for both groups, that is, a personalized Tai Chi-based exercise program conducted by a trained physiotherapist (45-minute session twice a week for eight consecutive weeks). The main objective of this research is to test the non-inferiority of a Tai Chi-based exercise program provided via telerehabilitation compared to the same program provided in person at home in terms of effectiveness for retraining balance in individuals who have had a stroke but do not require intensive functional rehabilitation. The main outcome of this study is balance and mobility measured with the Community Balance and Mobility Scale. Secondary outcomes include physical and psychological capacities related to balance and mobility, participants' quality of life, satisfaction with services received, and cost-effectiveness associated with the provision of both types of services.
Cites: Stroke. 1989 Jul;20(7):864-702749846
Cites: J Am Geriatr Soc. 1991 Feb;39(2):142-81991946
Workplace computer use has increased dramatically in recent years and has been linked to musculoskeletal disorders, a leading cause of work disability and productivity losses in industrialized nations. Tai Chi is a simple, convenient workplace intervention that may promote musculoskeletal health without special equipment or showering, yet no study has investigated Tai Chi as a workplace physical exercise for health promotion.
To examine the effects of a workplace Tai Chi (TC) intervention on musculoskeletal fitness and psychological well-being among female university employees who are computer users.
The exercise program consisted of two 50 minute TC classes per week for 12 consecutive weeks during the months of May-August 2007. Fifty-two participants were enrolled in a class conducted on campus by a professional TC practitioner during the lunch hour. Socio-demographic characteristics, including information on age, marital status, ethnicity, job category and perceived overall health were collected from all participants. Fitness testing conducted by qualified personnel was assessed pre- and post-program. The tests included resting heart rate, resting blood pressure, anthropometric measures, musculoskeletal fitness and back fitness. Psychological well-being was assessed by the Perceived Stress Scale pre- and post-program.
There were significant positive results in several areas including resting heart rate, waist circumference and hand grip strength. Results showed that the TC program was effective in improving musculoskeletal fitness and psychological well-being.
Significant improvements in physiological and psychological measures were observed, even at the large class sizes tested here, suggesting that TC has considerable potential as an economic, effective and convenient workplace intervention.