Balance ability decreases with age, which results in an increased risk of falls for people over age 65. Tai Chi exercise appears to offer potential benefits in the reduction of falls for the elderly. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of extended (6- and 12-month) Tai Chi exercise interventions on balance and selected motor functions for senior citizens. Forty-seven subjects were recruited from two local senior centers. Twenty of them (M = 71.8 years, SD = 7.1), 11 in the Tai Chi exercise group and 9 in the control group, completed the pre-, mid- and post-tests over 12 months on five selected functional performance tests: static balance, dynamic balance, choice reaction time, heel-rise strength, and ankle flexibility. The Tai Chi group was provided with a one-hour Tai Chi exercise session per week for 12 months; the control group did not participate in any exercise program. Results showed that static balance improved significantly after a 6-month Tai Chi intervention. Moreover, the Tai Chi group maintained a higher level in the test performance compared with the control group at the end of the 12-month intervention, but there was no significant difference between the two groups. Data suggested that Tai Chi exercise intervention could produce a positive influence on balance control for the elderly over a prolonged period, but not on muscle strength and ankle flexibility.
"As powerful as TC is as a good, low-intensity exercise, it is important to emphasize the social benefits as part of the participation structure that helps keep the mind engaged, combined with this, evidence has demonstrated that being active with people of similar age, ability and outlook highly influences the social rewards that are a significant factor for adherence to long-term practice . Physically TC is highly appropriate for an aging population since it can be practiced by participants with one or more chronic conditions due to its low intensity, steady rhythm and low physical and mental demands but it can also specifically influence balance and motor control to reduce falls in this at risk aging population group . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 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 < 0.05). Based on multiple linear regression analyses, no common health determinants explained a significant portion of the variation in percent changes of the musculoskeletal fitness and SF 36 measures.
These results reveal that TC has the potential of having a beneficial influence on musculoskeletal health-related fitness and self-reported physical health in a mid to older low socioeconomic, ethnically diverse sample.
"The warming up exercise comprised walking around with moving hands. The Tai Chi Chih exercise involved lateral arm extension and trunk rotation, bending of knees in wide steps, moving forward and backward, sideway stepping, and weight shifting (Choi, Moon, & Song, 2005; Li, Devault, & Oteghen, 2007). The cycle of 19 movements was repeated for 40 min while listening to traditional instrumental music to maintain slow and continuous movements. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of an 8-week Tai Chi Chih exercise program on physical functional performance (PFP) among women aged 45 to 65 years. A quasi-experimental design with a nonequivalent comparison group was used. Forty-one healthy inactive women were assigned to either an intervention group (n = 19) or a comparison group (n = 19). A 60-min Tai Chi Chih exercise class was conducted twice a week for 8 weeks. PFP was measured at baseline and postintervention using the Continuous Scale Physical Functional Performance-10 (CS-PFP 10). Between-group differences were analyzed using one-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). After participating in the 8-week program, intervention group participants showed greater improvement in the CS-PFP measures (p < .05, η(2) > .06). However, the comparison group had little changes. The findings from this study suggest that participation in an 8-week Tai Chi Chih exercise program can improve PFP in healthy, community-dwelling middle-aged women.
"The trade-off between tendon stiffness/resistance and compliance/elasticity is important to promote the efficiency of the spring-like AT function. With increasing stiffness, compliance generally decreases and the triceps surae muscles generate greater work to induce stretch and benefit from the storing and releasing of elastic energy (Anderson & Pandy, 1993; Arampatzis, Karamanidis, Morey-Klapsing, De Monte, & Stafilidis, 2007; Kubo, Kanehisa, & Fukunaga, 2005; Kubo, Kawakami, & Fukunaga, 1999). These properties are suggested to influence sporting performance (Arampatzis et al., 2007; Kubo, Kanehisa, Kawakami, & Fukunaga, 2000), play a role in tendinopathy aetiology (Kibler, 2003), and be altered by age, training and rehabilitation (Bojsen-Moller, Magnusson, Rasmussen, Kjaer, & Aagaard, 2005; Hansen, Aagaard, Kjaer, Larsson, & Magnusson, 2003). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Athletes commonly sustain injuries to the triceps surae muscle-tendon unit. The calf-raise test (CRT) is frequently employed in sports medicine for the detection and monitoring of such injuries. However, despite being widely-used, a recent systematic review found no universal consensus relating to the test's purpose, parameters, and standard protocols.
The purpose of this paper is to provide a clinical perspective on the anatomo-physiological bases underpinning the CRT and to discuss the utilisation of the test in relation to the structure and function of the triceps surae muscle-tendon unit.
Structured narrative review.
Nine electronic databases were searched using keywords and MESH headings related to the CRT and the triceps surae muscle-tendon unit anatomy and physiology. A hand-search of reference lists and relevant journals and textbooks complemented the electronic search.
There is evidence supporting the clinical use of the CRT to assess soleus and gastrocnemius, their shared aponeurosis, the Achilles tendon, and the combined triceps surae muscle-tendon unit. However, employing the same clinical test to assess all these structures and their associated functions remains challenging.
Further refinement of the CRT for the triceps surae muscle-tendon unit is needed. This is vital to support best practice utilisation, standardisation, and interpretation of the CRT in sports medicine.
Physical therapy in sport: official journal of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports Medicine 11/2009; 10(4):142-9. DOI:10.1016/j.ptsp.2009.07.001 · 1.65 Impact Factor
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