Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tai Chi and Low Impact Exercise: Effects on the Physical Functioning and Psychological Well-Being of Older People

[2007 - Journal of Applied Gerontology, Vol. 26, No. 5] The effects of tai chi (TC) and low impact exercise (LIE) interventions on physical functioning and psychological well-being of sedentary older people were contrasted. Participants were randomized to TC, LIE, or non-exercise control groups with interventions running for 12 weeks. Post-intervention assessments with 72 participants who completed the study revealed that participants in both exercise groups improved with respect to upper body strength, balance, cardiovascular endurance, lower body strength, sleep disturbances, and anxiety. Participants in the LIE group reported better functional ability while those in the TC group reported better subjective health. Findings suggest that tai chi and low impact exercise are safe, cost-effective ways to improve both physical and psychological functioning of older people. More


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