Tai Chi May Not Reduce Fall Risk In Elderly

According to study from Netherlands, tai chi (traditional Chinese balance and mobility exercise training) doesn’t seem to be effective in reducing falls among home living elderly adults who are at greater risk of falling, often resulting in the need for surgery such as hip replacement”.

Inge H. J. Logghe, of Erasmus MC University Medical Center, in Rotterdam says that “it is not enough to practice Tai chi for short periods to prevent falls in future”.

Researchers estimated that in a 12 month period almost 115 falls are reported among elderly men and women, who already took Tai Chi Chuan training.

Tai Chi training potentially improves the balance by training people to perform a series of positions in a slow flowing manner. However, the previous studies regarding the usefulness of tai chi in preventing falls had provided mixed results.

The research team investigated 77 years old on average and 71% females. All participants lived in home and had disturbed balance, mobility problems, and dizziness or were on other medications that placed them at a high risk of falling.

Researchers found no difference in balance, fear of falling, functional status or physical activity level and further suggest that Tai chi is limited in preventing falls only among home living elderly adults, who are at high risk for falling.