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Abstract

Purpose: The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of Tai Chi on the dynamic balance in younger, active community-based adults with no history of lower extremity injury or balance problems. Methods: Fourteen subjects (4 males / 10 females; age 23.6 + 6.2 years-old; height 166.5 ± 11.1 cm; weight 75.9 ± 19.3 kg) completed a 13-week undergraduate Tai Chi course. Dynamic balance was assessed at the beginning and the end of the course using the Y-Balance test. Results: Post-hoc testing showed significant improvements in anterior (P=0.007) and posterior lateral (P=0.003) reach distances with a Cohen’s d at 0.54 and 0.71 for the anterior and posterior lateral, respectively with significant improvement in right composite compared to left composite (P<0.0001). Cohen’s d was 0.51 and 1.38 for the left and right composite score, respectively. Conclusions: These findings suggest that Tai Chi may be useful as an exercise regimen to increase anterior and posterior lateral dynamic balance in balance-dependent activity as measured by the Y Balance Test. The authors champion that Tai Chi may be a useful addition for a physical therapy treatment plan, preventative exercise plan, or wellness program to increase anterior and posterior lateral dynamic balance.

Author Bio(s)

Anthony O'Neill, DPT, RDN, LMT is a licensed physical therapist, medical dietician, and massage therapist. He currently is practicing as an outpatient physical therapist in California and is pursing a Yoga Teacher Training Certificate. He is a recent graduate of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Augusta University.

Debra Beazley, PT, MBA, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Physical Therapy Program at the University of Lynchburg in Lynchburg, Virginia and was previously an Associate Professor at Augusta University. She is a licensed physical therapist in Georgia and Virginia.

Lori Bolgla, PT, MAcc, ATC is the Kellett Chair in Research in the College of Health Sciences and professor in the Graduate School, the Medical College of Georgia, and the Department of Physical Therapy at Augusta University. She is a licensed physical therapist in Georgia.

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge Dr. Hailei Zhao from the Augusta University Confucius Institute and the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Shanghai, China for the support given to this research project.

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