Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tai Chi Can Reduce Falls In Older People, Says New Research

Date:
June 28, 2005
Source:
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Summary:
A group of older, fall-prone people who took part in a 12-week structured programme of Tai Chi found that their balance and physical strength improved, reducing the risk of falls. The group - average age 78 -were compared with a control group who did not exercise.

Older people who took part in a structured programme of Tai Chi found that their balance and physical strength improved, reducing the risk of falls, according to a paper in the latest Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Related Articles


Researchers studied a group of fall-prone adults, with an average age of 78, living in residential care. 29 undertook a 12-week Tai Chi course three times a week and 30 formed the non-exercise control group.

They found that the physical fitness of the exercise group showed significant improvement, with stronger knee and ankle muscles, improved mobility and flexibility and better balance.

For example, after the exercise programme had finished, the time taken by the exercise group to walk six metres had fallen by 25 per cent, while the control group took 14 per cent longer.

"As people get older they are more likely to experience falls and this can lead to some very serious health issues" says co-author Professor Rhayun Song from the Chung Nam National University in South Korea.

"Figures published in the United States estimate that 30 per cent of people over 65 living in the community fall each year and this rises to up to 50 per cent for people in long-term care facilities, such as residential homes. One in ten falls results in a fracture.

"Regular exercise is very important as we get older because when we get to 65 we start losing muscle strength at a rate of up to two per cent per year."

Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese martial art consisting of a series of slow, gentle, continuous movements, is particularly suitable for older people as it helps them to develop stronger muscles and better balance and concentration.

The exercise programme used in the research consisted of 10 minutes of warming up exercises, 20 minutes of Sun-style Tai Chi movement and five minutes of cooling down exercises. Traditional instrumental music was used to help the group maintain slow and continuous movements and provide a soothing effect.

Both groups underwent a series of tests before the 12-week exercise programme and once it had been completed. This measured their muscle strength, balance and confidence in avoiding falls.

Participants were also asked to report any falls they experienced during the test period. 31 per cent of the exercise group said they had had a fall, compared with 50 per cent of the control group.

In the year before the research started, 66 per cent of the exercise group had reported a fall, together with 57 per cent of the control group.

"Our study shows that low-intensity exercise such as Tai Chi has great potential for health promotion as it can help older people to avoid falls by developing their balance, muscle strength and confidence" says Professor Song.

"We believe that regular exercise should be a fundamental part of caring for older people living in the community and in residential care."

###

Notes to editors

  • Effect of Sun-style Tai Chi on physical fitness and fall prevention in fall-prone older adults. Jung Hyun Choi, Jung-Soon Moon and Rhayun Song, South Korea. Journal of Advanced Nursing. Volume 51.2, pages 150-157.
  • Founded in 1976, Journal of Advanced Nursing is read by experienced nurses, midwives, health visitors and advanced nursing students in over 80 countries. It informs, educates, explores, debates and challenges the foundations of nursing health care knowledge and practice worldwide. Edited by Professor Alison Tierney, it is published 24 times a year by Blackwell Publishing Ltd, which has its headquarters in Oxford, UK, and is part of the international Blackwell Publishing group.

  • Story Source:

    The above story is based on materials provided by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


    Cite This Page:

    Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "Tai Chi Can Reduce Falls In Older People, Says New Research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 June 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050627233059.htm>.
    Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. (2005, June 28). Tai Chi Can Reduce Falls In Older People, Says New Research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050627233059.htm
    Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "Tai Chi Can Reduce Falls In Older People, Says New Research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050627233059.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

    Share This


    More From ScienceDaily



    More Health & Medicine News

    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    Featured Research

    from universities, journals, and other organizations


    Featured Videos

    from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

    UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

    UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

    AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
    Powered by NewsLook.com
    When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

    When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

    Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
    Powered by NewsLook.com
    Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

    Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

    AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
    Powered by NewsLook.com
    Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

    Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

    Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
    Powered by NewsLook.com

    Search ScienceDaily

    Number of stories in archives: 140,361

    Find with keyword(s):
    Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Breaking News:

    Strange & Offbeat Stories


    Health & Medicine

    Mind & Brain

    Living & Well

    In Other News

    ... from NewsDaily.com

    Science News

    Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins