Efficacy of Tai Chi in Preventing Fall in the Elderly Population

A recent systematic review and meta-analysis included 18 trials with 3824 participants. The systematic review and meta-analysis concluded that the Tai Chi group was associated with significantly lower chance of falling at least once (risk ratio (RR) 0.80, 95% CI 0.72 to 0.88) and rate of falls (incidence rate ratio (IRR) 0.69, 95% CI 0.60 to 0.80) than the control group. Subgroup analyses suggested that the preventive effect was likely to increase with exercise frequency (number of fallers: p=0.001; rate of falls: p=0.007) and Yang style Tai Chi was likely to be more effective than Sun style Tai Chi (number of fallers: p=0.01; rate of falls: p=0.001). Sensitivity analyses by sample size, risk of bias and comorbidity showed no major influence on the primary results. The systematic review concludes that Tai Chi is effective in improving balance and preventing falls and should be recommended as an important fall prevention strategy.

Huang, Z.G., et al., Systematic review and meta-analysis: Tai Chi for preventing falls in older adults. British Medical Journal Open  2017. 7(2): p. e013661.

The Tai Chi for Health and Fall Prevention Program by Exercise Medicine Australia is a Yang style-based evidence translation program. Based on compelling research evidence, informed by exercise science and guided by exercise prescription principles and safety guidelines, the program is designed to effectively reduce the risk of and prevent fall, and improve health and the quality of life.


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