An Integrative Review of Tai Chi Research: An Alternative Form of Physical Activity to Improve Balance and Prevent Falls in Older Adults

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Abstract

The purpose of this integrative review is to analyze the current research literature on Tai Chi (TC) and its potential effect on balance and prevention of falls in older adults. The evidence for improving balance is somewhat conflicting because few research studies identify which balance exercises are effective. The question of how TC achieves improvements in balance remains. To promote functional independence and improve quality of life in the later years of one's life, it is important to improve balance and prevent falls in older adults. TC poses challenges related to the complexity of the practice. By reviewing the current research literature on TC focusing on balance and falls in older adults, strategies may be developed to incorporate TC to improve balance and modify the known risk factors for falling. This article also discusses potential applications and limitations of the current research.

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