Tai Chi in Australia: Acceptable and effective approach to improve balance and mobility in older people?

Keith Hill, Whanseok Choi, Robyn Smith, Joanna Condron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To evaluate the effects of 24 form Tai Chi Quan (TCQ) on balance and related measures, and factors associated with participation in the program. Methods: Twenty-three older subjects (mean age 71.0 years, SD 5.6 years) commenced the three times weekly 1 h TCQ sessions. Subjects were measured on balance (Functional Reach, Step Test), gait (velocity, double support phase duration), activity level, leg muscle strength, and the Modified Falls Efficacy Scale (MFES) before and following the 3 month program. Participants also completed a survey investigating participation and perceived benefit of the program. Results: Nineteen participants completed the program, averaging attendance at 68% of classes. There was significant improvement in balance (Step Test, P < 0.01) and non-significant improvement in gait double support duration (P = 0.04), Functional Reach (P = 0.04) and activity level (P = 0.06). Most participants incorporated some home practice as well as the formal program, and reported both the physical (balance) components and remembering sequences of movements as the most challenging aspects of the program. Conclusions: Twenty-four form TCQ is a practical form of exercise for older people that improves dynamic balance performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-13
Number of pages5
JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Balance
  • Older adults
  • Physical activity
  • Tai chi

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