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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 523852, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/523852
Research Article

Sitting Tai Chi Improves the Balance Control and Muscle Strength of Community-Dwelling Persons with Spinal Cord Injuries: A Pilot Study

1Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong
2Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong
3Institute of Human Performance, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

Received 26 November 2014; Accepted 29 December 2014

Academic Editor: Martin Offenbaecher

Copyright © 2015 William W. N. Tsang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objective. To investigate the effects of sitting Tai Chi on muscle strength, balance control, and quality of life (QOL) among survivors with spinal cord injuries (SCI). Methods. Eleven SCI survivors participated in the sitting Tai Chi training (90 minutes/session, 2 times/week for 12 weeks) and eight SCI survivors acted as controls. Dynamic sitting balance was evaluated using limits of stability test and a sequential weight shifting test in sitting. Handgrip strength was also tested using a hand-held dynamometer. QOL was measured using the World Health Organization’s Quality of Life Scale. Results. Tai Chi practitioners achieved significant improvements in their reaction time (); maximum excursion (); and directional control () in the limits of stability test after training. In the sequential weight shifting test, they significantly improved their total time to sequentially hit the 12 targets (). Significant improvement in handgrip strength was also found among the Tai Chi practitioners (). However, no significant within and between-group differences were found in the QOL outcomes (). Conclusions. Twelve weeks of sitting Tai Chi training could improve the dynamic sitting balance and handgrip strength, but not QOL, of the SCI survivors.