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Asian J Kinesiol > Volume 16(4); 2014 > Article
The Official Journal of the Korean Academy of Kinesiology 2014;16(4):53-62.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.15758/jkak.2014.16.4.53    Published online October 31, 2014.
Effects of Tai Chi on Gait, Balance Ability, and Ankle Range of Motion in Elderly Women
Gang Zhao, Jong-Hyu Kim, Hyun-Choul Cho, Jee-Young Hong, Seol-Jung Kang
Jilin Normal University
Wooseck University
Seoul National University Hospital
Changwon National University
Correspondence:  Seol-Jung Kang,
Email: sjkang803@hanmail.net
Received: 1 September 2014   • Accepted: 25 October 2014
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of tai chi on gait, balance ability, and ankle range of motion in elderly women.
Participants were randomly assigned to either tai chi (n=14, 69.8±3.4 years) or control group(n=14, 69.4±3.2 years). Individuals in the tai chi group participated the 24-form simplified tai chi session for 50 minutes a day, 3 days a week for 12 weeks. The control group remained in a sedentary lifestyles and refrained from any type of regular physical activity. The measures, including gait velocity, step length, stride width, Berg 's balance scale, one leg standing with closed eyes, Get-up & Go test, and ankle range of motion were performed before and after the 12-week study period. Two-way repeated measured ANOVA was used to test the effect of tai chi practice on each variable. The statistical significance was set at α = .05.
First, gait velocity(p<.001) and step length(p<.001) were increased, and stride width(p<.001) was decreased after the tai chi exercise program. Second, Berg 's balance scale(p<.001) and one leg standing with closed eyes(p<.01) were increased, and Get-up & Go test(p<.001) was decreased after the tai chi exercise program. Third, left dorsi flexion(p<.001), right dorsi flexion(p<.001), left plantar flexion(p<.001) and right plantar flexion(p<.001) were significantly increased after the tai chi exercise program.
Our data suggest that tai chi program has positive effects on gait, balance ability, and ankle range of motion in elderly women.
Keywords: Tai chi, elderly women, gait ability, balance ability, ankle range of motion


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