The effects of Tai Chi on the balance control of elderly persons with visual impairment: A randomised clinical trial

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China.
Age and Ageing (Impact Factor: 3.64). 12/2011; 41(2):254-9. DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afr146
Source: PubMed


balance control is a major problem for older individuals with poor vision. There are limitations, however, for visually impaired elderly persons wishing to participate in exercise programmes. The benefits of Tai Chi for balance control, muscle strength and preventing falls have been demonstrated with sighted elderly subjects. This study was designed to extend those findings to elderly persons with visual impairment.
to investigate the effects of Tai Chi on the balance control of elderly persons with visual impairment.
randomised clinical trial.
residential care homes.
forty visually impaired persons aged 70 or over.
the participants were randomly divided into Tai Chi and control groups and assessed pre- and post-intervention using three tests: (i) passive knee joint repositioning to test knee proprioception; (ii) concentric isokinetic strength of the knee extensors and flexors and (iii) a sensory organisation test to quantify an individual's ability to maintain balance in a variety of complex sensory conditions.
after intervention, the Tai Chi participants showed significant improvements in knee proprioception and in their visual and vestibular ratios compared with the control group.
practicing Tai Chi can improve the balance control of visually impaired elderly persons.

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    • "Traveling time and space requirements are minimal [7]. Previous academic work has shown that Tai Chi practice improves standing balance control, muscle strength, functional status, aerobic capacity, and arterial compliance and decreases fall risk in ambulatory older population [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective. To investigate the effects of sitting Tai Chi on muscle strength, balance control, and quality of life (QOL) among survivors with spinal cord injuries (SCI). Methods. Eleven SCI survivors participated in the sitting Tai Chi training (90 minutes/session, 2 times/week for 12 weeks) and eight SCI survivors acted as controls. Dynamic sitting balance was evaluated using limits of stability test and a sequential weight shifting test in sitting. Handgrip strength was also tested using a hand-held dynamometer. QOL was measured using the World Health Organization's Quality of Life Scale. Results. Tai Chi practitioners achieved significant improvements in their reaction time (P = 0.042); maximum excursion (P = 0.016); and directional control (P = 0.025) in the limits of stability test after training. In the sequential weight shifting test, they significantly improved their total time to sequentially hit the 12 targets (P = 0.035). Significant improvement in handgrip strength was also found among the Tai Chi practitioners (P = 0.049). However, no significant within and between-group differences were found in the QOL outcomes (P > 0.05). Conclusions. Twelve weeks of sitting Tai Chi training could improve the dynamic sitting balance and handgrip strength, but not QOL, of the SCI survivors.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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    • "Additionally, elderly Tai Chi practitioners attained the same level of balance control as young subjects when standing in reduced or conflicting sensory conditions. In a recent study, Chen and colleagues [31] investigated the effects of Tai Chi for elderly persons with visual impairment and found that the Tai Chi group showed significant improvements in visual and vestibular ratios compared with the control group. "
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    ABSTRACT: Tai Chi Chuan (Tai Chi) is a Chinese traditional mind-body exercise and recently, it becomes popular worldwide. During the practice of Tai Chi, deep diaphragmatic breathing is integrated into body motions to achieve a harmonious balance between body and mind and to facilitate the flow of internal energy (Qi). Participants can choose to perform a complete set of Tai Chi or selected movements according to their needs. Previous research substantiates that Tai Chi has significant benefits to health promotion, and regularly practicing Tai Chi improves aerobic capacity, muscular strength, balance, health-related quality of life, and psychological well-being. Recent studies also prove that Tai Chi is safe and effective for patients with neurological diseases (e.g., stroke, Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, cognitive dysfunction), rheumatological disease (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and fibromyalgia), orthopedic diseases (e.g., osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, low-back pain, and musculoskeletal disorder), cardiovascular diseases (e.g., acute myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass grafting surgery, and heart failure), chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, and breast cancers. Tai Chi is an aerobic exercise with mild-to-moderate intensity and is appropriate for implementation in the community. This paper reviews the existing literature on Tai Chi and introduces its health-promotion effect and the potential clinical applications.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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    • "Hazneci et al.12) reported that isokinetic exercises positively affected passive position sense, the stabilization of joints and proprioceptive acuity. Active exercises such as tai chi have been found to decrease position errors in subjects completing a position matching task13, 14). However, Ju et al.8) found that repetitive active exercise had a negative impact on joint proprioception. "
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    ABSTRACT: [Purpose] This study was conducted in order to investigate the effect of repetitive passive movement and repetitive active movement on proprioception in forearm supination. [Subjects] This study had a cross-sectional design. Twenty-three right-handed healthy subjects were recruited. All subjects randomly received both repetitive passive movement and repetitive active movement (repetitive passive/active movement at 120°/s with 60 repetitions over a 0-80° range). Active and passive joint repositioning of all subjects was measured using the error score for position sense, both before and after repositioning intervention. [Results] In the repetitive passive movement test, there was a statistically significant decrease in the pre- versus post-repositioning error scores in the active and passive angle examinations. In the repetitive active movement test, there was a statistically significant increase in pre- versus post-repositioning error scores in the active and passive angle examinations. In the comparison of position sense, there was a statistically significant decrease in both active and passive angle repositioning error scores in repetitive passive movement versus repetitive active movement. [Conclusion] Repetitive passive movement improved the proprioception results for forearm supination, compared to repetitive active movement. Results of this study indicate that repetitive passive movement can be recommended to clinicians for rehabilitation therapy as it provides greater proprioception benefits.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Journal of Physical Therapy Science
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