Tai chi reduces risk of falls for older adults says new study
Older people who have a high risk of falling could try tai chi balance training to lower their chances, says new research published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
A total of 670 adults aged 70 years or older who had a history of falls or impaired mobility, were split into three groups. One group took part in two 60-minute classes weekly for 24 weeks of a therapeutically tailored tai chi intervention. A second group had a multimodal exercise programme that involved integrating balance, aerobics, strength, and flexibility activities. The third group did stretching exercises.
During the six months trial there were 733 falls: 152 in the tai chi group, 218 in the multimodal exercise group and 363 in the stretching group. People in the therapeutic tai chi intervention had reduced falls by 58% compared with the stretching exercise (control intervention) and by 31% compared with the multimodal exercise intervention.
The research group comments:
“For older adults at high risk of falling, a therapeutically tailored tai ji quan intervention was more effective than stretching or multimodal exercises in reducing the incidence of falls.”
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