Among 256 healthy physically inactive older adults between 70 and 92 years of age, some participated in a 6-month program of tai chi, while the rest took part in a stretching exercise program. The groups were then followed for an additional 6 months, with the following significant results in the tai chi group.
Fewer injurious falls
Reduced risk for multiple falls
Improvements in all measures of functional balance, physical performance, and reduced fear of falling
Gains in these measures were maintained at a 6-month follow-up in the tai chi group
Several years ago, I wrote an article about tai chi. Even then, the benefits were clear, and justified its use among senior citizens. These updated findings support that recommendation today.
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.