Effects of Tai Chi Exercise on Physical and Psychological Health of Older People
July 28, 2011
Tai Chi is a traditional Chinese form of conditioning exercise derived
from martial arts and rooted in eastern philosophy and Chinese Medicine. Based
on the inter-relatedness of mind, body and spirit this form of exercise focuses
on producing an inner calmness which is thought to have both physical and
psychological therapeutic value.
An article authored by two researchers at
University of Nottingham, UK provides a brief overview of selected current evidence examining the
relationship between Tai Chi and physical, neuro-cognitive and
psychosocial outcomes in older people. This is an emerging and growing area of
research and improvements have often been reported in health functioning,
physical and emotional health, reducing falls, fear of falling and risk of
falls, and possibly enhancing cardiovascular functioning in older adults
although the effects on bone density, cognitive and immunological functioning
are less clear.
Results overall are inconsistent and health
improvements have not been evident in all studies. Tai Chi is becoming
increasingly popular in practice, and more recent evidence is emerging which is
based on experimental and longitudinal designs, although many of the proposed
benefits of Tai Chi are yet to be validated in large, randomized
This study is published in the July 2011 issue of
Current Aging Science.