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Tai Chi Found Helpful for Functional Fitness and Fall Risk in Older Adults in South America

May 25, 2023 #Older People

An ex-post-facto study was carried out by scientists from Chile, Brazil, and Peru in practicing and non-practicing older adults of Tai chi to verify functional fitness and fall risk in them.

Thirty-one adults with an age range of 65 to 80 years were studied. Two study groups were formed: Group practicing Tai Chi (15 people) and Group not practicing Tai Chi (16 people). Age, weight, height, and waist circumference were assessed. Body mass index (BMI) and fat mass (FM) were calculated. Five functional fitness tests were assessed: biceps curl (30sec), Chair stand (30sec), agility (sec), 2min walk (#rep) and 6min-1 walk (m). Fall risk was measured using a 13-item scale.

The Tai Chi group showed better performance in all five functional fitness tests (biceps curl, Chair stand, agility, 2min gait and 6min walk) compared to the GPT. The effect size between both groups were medium to large. There were also differences between the mean values in fall risk between both groups.

This study, published by European journal of translational myology in May 2023, demonstrated that the group of old adults practicing Tai Chi presented better levels of functional fitness and less risk of falling in relation to their counterparts who did not practice Tai Chi. These results suggest including this type of old-time exercise in physical activity programs that promote functional fitness wellness and fall prevention among older adults.

By Tai Chi