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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 9710941, 9 pages
Research Article

Tai Chi Can Improve Postural Stability as Measured by Resistance to Perturbation Related to Upper Limb Movement among Healthy Older Adults

1Key Laboratory of Exercise and Health Sciences of Ministry of Education, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai 200438, China
2Kinesiology and Physical Education Department, Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, IL 60115, USA
3School of Health & Kinesiology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA 30460, USA

Received 29 May 2016; Revised 11 October 2016; Accepted 14 November 2016

Academic Editor: Yong Tai Wang

Copyright © 2016 Jiahao Pan 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.


Purpose. The aim of the study was to examine the effects of Tai Chi (TC) training on postural control when upright standing was perturbed by upper limb movement. Methods. Three groups, TC, Brisk walk (BW), and sedentary (SE), of thirty-six participants aged from 65 to 75 years were recruited from local community centers. Participants performed static balance task (quiet standing for 30 s with eyes open and closed) and fitting task (two different reaching distances X three different opening sizes to fit objects through). During tasks, the COP data was recorded while standing on the force plate. Criteria measures calculated from COP data were the maximum displacement in anterior-posterior (AP) and medial-lateral (ML) directions, the 95% confidence ellipse area (95% area), and the mean velocity. Results. No significant effect was observed in the static balance task. For fitting tasks, the group effect was observed in all directions on COP 95% area () and the TC group showed reduced area. The tests of subject contrasts showed significant trends for reaching different distances and fitting different openings conditions in all directions, the 95% area, and the mean velocity (). Conclusion. Compared to the other two groups, long-term TC exercise helps in reducing the effects of upper body perturbation as measured by posture sway.