257233 Effects of an 8-week Tai Chi Exercise Program on Physical Functional Performance in Middle-aged Women

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 4:54 PM - 5:06 PM

Susan Zacharia, MS , Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
E. Laurette Taylor, PhD , Dept of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
Craig Hofford, PhD , Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
Danielle R. Brittain, PhD , School of Human Sciences, Community Health Program, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO
Paul Wesley Branscum, PhD, RD , Department of Health and Exercise Science, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of an 8-week Tai Chi exercise program on physical functional performance in women aged 45-65 years. Methods: A quasi-experimental design with a non-equivalent comparison group was used in this study. Forty one healthy community dwelling women (mean age = 56.5 years) who were insufficiently physically active participated in the study. They were assigned to either Tai Chi or comparison group based on their ability to meet at the designated time for eight straight weeks of intervention. A certified Tai Chi instructor taught the 19 movements of Tai Chi Chih to the Tai Chi group for 1 hour twice a week for 8 weeks. Physical functional performance of the participants were measured at baseline and after 8-week of Tai Chi intervention using Continuous Scale-Physical Functional Performance 10. Data were analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA to identify the group differences for all five dependent variables overtime. Results: The members of Tai Chi group showed significantly greater improvement in all measures of physical functional performance when compared to the non-intervention group: upper body strength (p=.000, η2=.627), lower body strength (p=.000, η2=.521), balance and coordination (p=.000, η2=.503), endurance (p=.000, η2=.501), and total functional performance (p=.000, η2=.547). Conclusion: The findings indicate that participation in a Tai Chi exercise program twice a week for 8-weeks can safely improve physical functional performance in relatively healthy community dwelling middle aged women.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify the health advantages associated with the participation in Tai Chi exercise by middle aged women, which may assist practitioners to develop programs for middle aged and older adults to improve their physical functioning, prevent falls, and facilitate independent living.

Keywords: Exercise, Elderly

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Because I have my Masters in Health Promotion and this is my thesis project
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.