Author(s): Gyllensten AL, HuiChan CW, Tsang WW
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Abstract DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: University-based rehabilitation center. PARTICIPANTS: Tai Chi practitioners (n=24; age+/-SD, 68.5+/-6.6 y) and control subjects (n=20; age, 71.3+/-6.7 y) were recruited. INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Measures included the following: (1) subjects' intentional weight shifting to 8 different spatial positions within their base of support using the limits of stability test, (2) the ability to leave the floor in single-leg jumping and to maintain balance on landing using force platform measurements, and (3) body awareness and movement behaviors using the Body Awareness Scale-Health (BAS-H). RESULTS: The findings showed that Tai Chi practitioners had a significantly better ability to lean further without losing stability and better directional control (P<0.01). They had a better ability to jump off the floor (P<0.05) and to maintain a longer single-leg stance after landing (P<.05) and better overall body awareness (P<.001). The single-leg jumps also correlated significantly with limits of stability measures of movement velocity, endpoint excursions, and maximum excursions but not with directional control. The BAS-H scores correlated significantly with the limits of stability measures except directional control. They also correlated significantly with the ability to jump off the floor and maintain stability after landing. CONCLUSIONS: When compared with healthy controls, Tai Chi practitioners had better stability limits, increased ability to perform a single-leg jump, and more stability in landing on 1 leg as well as better body awareness. Significant correlations among limits of stability measures, single-leg jumping tests, and the BAS-H scores indicate the importance of body awareness in limits of stability, single-leg jumping, and landing. Copyright 2010 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Arch Phys Med Rehabil
and referenced in Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior