Sign Chi Do and physical function: A pilot study

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Participating in strength, balance, and flexibility training reduces the risk for decreased physical function for older adults. This pilot study tested the effect of an exercise intervention on physical function. A pretest/posttest single-group design was used to test the effect of a 12-week Sign Chi Do (SCD) exercise intervention on upper body strength (arm curls) and lower body strength (chair stands); balance (Timed Up & Go and one-leg stance), and flexibility (back scratch). Five community-dwelling older adults not participating in strength, flexibility, or balance training completed the study. Strength scores improved by at least 2 arm curls or chair stands for those at risk for loss of physical function. Timed Up & Go scores improved by an average of 3.83 (range 1.98–4.98) seconds for those at risk for falls. All flexibility scores remained in the upper 75th percentile. Continued practice of SCD has the potential to improve physical function for older adults.

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