Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tai Chi can reduce falls in older people, says new research

27.06.2005


Older people who took part in a structured programme of Tai Chi found that their balance and physical strength improved, reducing the risk of falls, according to a paper in the latest Journal of Advanced Nursing.



Researchers studied a group of fall-prone adults, with an average age of 78, living in residential care. 29 undertook a 12-week Tai Chi course three times a week and 30 formed the non-exercise control group.

They found that the physical fitness of the exercise group showed significant improvement, with stronger knee and ankle muscles, improved mobility and flexibility and better balance.


For example, after the exercise programme had finished, the time taken by the exercise group to walk six metres had fallen by 25 per cent, while the control group took 14 per cent longer.

“As people get older they are more likely to experience falls and this can lead to some very serious health issues” says co-author Professor Rhayun Song from the Chung Nam National University in South Korea.

“Figures published in the United States estimate that 30 per cent of people over 65 living in the community fall each year and this rises to up to 50 per cent for people in long-term care facilities, such as residential homes. One in ten falls results in a fracture.

“Regular exercise is very important as we get older because when we get to 65 we start losing muscle strength at a rate of up to two per cent per year.”

Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese martial art consisting of a series of slow, gentle, continuous movements, is particularly suitable for older people as it helps them to develop stronger muscles and better balance and concentration.

The exercise programme used in the research consisted of 10 minutes of warming up exercises, 20 minutes of Sun-style Tai Chi movement and five minutes of cooling down exercises. Traditional instrumental music was used to help the group maintain slow and continuous movements and provide a soothing effect.

Both groups underwent a series of tests before the 12-week exercise programme and once it had been completed. This measured their muscle strength, balance and confidence in avoiding falls.

Participants were also asked to report any falls they experienced during the test period. 31 per cent of the exercise group said they had had a fall, compared with 50 per cent of the control group.

In the year before the research started, 66 per cent of the exercise group had reported a fall, together with 57 per cent of the control group.

“Our study shows that low-intensity exercise such as Tai Chi has great potential for health promotion as it can help older people to avoid falls by developing their balance, muscle strength and confidence” says Professor Song.

“We believe that regular exercise should be a fundamental part of caring for older people living in the community and in residential care.”

Annette Whibley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.journalofadvancednursing.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>