Effects of Taijiquan on the Physical Fitness of Elderly Chinese People
We evaluated the efficacy of an 1-hour Taijiquan daily exercise for maintaining and improving the physical fitness of elderly Chinese people in an urban area of China. They had practiced Taijiquan in the park every morning for many years. Thirty subjects (male: n=10, average age 74.4 ± 3.2 years; female: n=20, average age 73.4 ± 4.4 years) participated in the study. Measures of physical fitness were taken immediately before and after the Taijiquan exercise. In both male and female groups, the results for tests consisting of standing on one leg with eyes open, grip strength, functional reach, 10-m walking speed, finger-floor distance, and standing on one leg while swinging the other leg were significantly improved. Results for standing on one leg with eyes closed, did not show a significant change. These results suggest that a 1-hour Taijiquan session can improve physical fitness in terms of static and dynamic balance, muscular strength, coordination, walking ability and flexibility in elderly individuals who have practiced Taijiquan over a long period of time. Thus, Taijiquan could help elderly individuals to maintain and improve their health and their ability to perform daily activities.
- Journal of physical therapy science
Journal of physical therapy science 18(2), 133-136, 2006-12-30