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The Effects of Sitting Tai Chi on Individuals with Impaired Physical Mobility


March 26, 2021 - Impaired physical mobility refers to a limitation in independent and purposeful physical movement of the body or one or more extremities. Physical restrictions result in negative consequences on an individual's physical and psychosocial functions. Sitting Tai Chi, a derivative form of traditional Tai Chi, has been found to increase the flexibility of all joints involved and enhance the ability to perform physical activity. However, the evidence of sitting Tai Chi on physical and psychosocial health outcomes on individuals with impaired physical mobility is limited.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong synthesized evidence that evaluates the effects of sitting Tai Chi on health outcomes among individuals with impaired physical mobility and to identify implementation strategies for the sitting Tai Chi intervention.

Searches were performed across 11 English and two Chinese databases systematically from inception to January 2020. Randomized controlled trials and non-randomized controlled trials, written in English or Chinese were included. Two independent reviewers screened all eligible studies, appraised risk of bias, and extracted the data. Meta-analyses were conducted using Review Manager 5.4 and narrative syntheses were performed where meta-analysis was inappropriate.

A total of 1,446 records were generated and 11 studies were eligible for inclusion. Meta-analysis reported a statistically significant effect size favoring sitting Tai Chi on depressive symptoms, heart rate and social domain of quality of life.

Sitting Tai Chi was found to have favorable effects on depressive symptoms, heart rate, and social domain of quality of life of individuals with impaired physical mobility. Very low to low quality evidence does not support the effectiveness of sitting Tai Chi on dynamic sitting balance, handgrip strength, and the physical and psychological domains of quality of life. There was limited evidence to suggest the best implementation strategies for the sitting Tai Chi intervention. It is anticipated that more well-designed studies will continue developing high quality evidence in this field.

 

 


 
 

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